Nelson’s glazier apprentice tops the country

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Nelson glazier Ross Holmes has beaten stiff competition to win this year’s Glass Association of New Zealand (GANZ) Cup, recognising him as the country’s most promising glass apprentice.

The cup was presented to him at the GANZ annual conference held in Rotorua this year, only the second time it has been awarded.
Award judge Deb Paul from the Joinery Industry Training Organisation says Mr Holmes, who is training towards his National Certificate in Glazing, was first in class for his block course work, and has also shown a real aptitude for the practical skills the job demands.

“Ross’ results saw him finish ahead of 42 other students last year.”
Mr Holmes has been working with glass for 15 years, but says it is only since he joined Smith&Smith in Nelson that he has been given the chance to go through a proper apprenticeship.
“I started in glass when I was 21, but it was on-the-job training only. Rather than just being a ‘journeyman’ I wanted to be certified, and Smith&Smith has supported me through the whole thing.”

The apprenticeship is quite a commitment, entailing 8000 hours and three block courses throughout the training term.
Initially, the attraction was the ready supply of work, but Mr Holmes says working with glass has also proved to be a varied and challenging career.
“Just when you think you have it all mastered, when you think you’ve seen it all before, something new pops up that you have to get your head around. It keeps it interesting.”