New Zealand’s top apprentice electricians named



Two bright sparks from Auckland have taken out the 2016 Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition (the Master Electricians Challenge), the country’s toughest contest for apprentice electricians.

The pair were among 10 finalists, selected during knockout heats around the country, who took part in the gruelling three-day final at the Hilton Lake Taupo.

All finalists had to face a business structure challenge and five workstations to complete a range of tasks designed to replicate a “real industry” setting using the latest technology, with the winner of each also awarded a prize.

The overall winners, found from accumulative points, were:

Chabb Chia, 21, from Parau, West Auckland, employed and trained by etco and hosted by Team Cabling, who won the Domestic/Commercial division.

Logan Sanders, 20, from Port Albert, also employed and trained by etco and hosted by Dalton Electrical, who won the Industrial division.

The pair each won a range of prizes and the prestigious title of Electrical Apprentice of the Year.

The winners of individual modules were:

Domestic/Commercial Division

NHP’s Switchboard Module — wiring of a commercial switchboard utilising neutral screen and contactor control wiring: Sarah Pye, Dunedin.

Marley Conduit Module — using multiple types of conduit and trunking for a variety of cabling applications — underground, solar, and extreme temperatures: Chabb Chia, Auckland.

Philips Energy Efficient Lighting — Dynalite intelligent lighting control and LED lighting: Chabb Chia, Auckland

HPM Legrand Home Automation Module — using the My Home product family to wire and programme a house for home automation and energy efficiency: Matt Dixon, Murupara.

Vynco Testing Module — full testing of an installation with M.E.N and distribution boards also utilising the ME Hub app to record and email test results for marking: Matt Dixon, Murupara

J A Russell Ltd “Know Your Costs” Module, which all Domestic/Commercial and Industrial finalists competed in — with a focus on how you should run your business and charge out your time: Harmony Court, Auckland.


Industrial Division

The five Industrial modules were sponsored by NHP-Rockwell Automation, and four of the five modules were won by Logan Sanders, including:

VSD Module — programming to run a conveyer at varying speeds.

Safety Relay Module — an industrial application to ensure operator safety under all conditions.

PLC Module — programming via a laptop to operate a conveyer as per the specifications.

Relay Logic module — focused on retrofitting a motor into older machinery.

The fifth module, HMI, was to programme the visual display, to show and control the function of a conveyer, and was won by Darko Tomovski, Auckland.

Master Electricians operations manager Bernie McLaughlin said the calibre of entrants was extremely high this year.

“Judges were really impressed at how swiftly and efficiently the contestants responded to these challenges. They were tested to the limit and performed exceptionally well.”

As apprentices, the contestants have all been paid while learning, and have gained experience working across a wide range of electrical jobs.

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