Sam Clapham is no stranger to the factory at Reilly Joinery. He started sweeping the floors at the Feilding-based business as a 14 year old. Now, nine years later, he has not only completed his apprenticeship while working there, he won a national award on the way.
Sam’s entry in the NZ Master Joiners Awards in July won him the Best Timber Project prize for an apprentice (4001-8000 hours). His grand entrance exterior doors made of Victorian Ash also won him the People’s Choice Award in the same category.
The Joinery competition was a first for Sam who was required to submit a photo display board of his entry. He and several of his New Zealand Certificate in Joinery
classmates, and UCOL tutors Craig Fleet and Bruce Birrell, attended the NZ Master Joiners’ conference and prize giving in Taupo.
Sam says his three years of NZ Certificate studies and managed apprenticeship through UCOL prepared him well for his joinery ambitions. “I’d like to travel in the future and I know I can take my trade anywhere.”
Sam’s boss, Andrew Reilly says it has been great to see Sam progress from his after school job as a floor sweeper to a fully qualified Joiner. “The apprentice award proves Sam has what it takes to do really well in his trade.”
Pictured above: Sam’s winning entry in the NZ Master Joiners Awards – Grand entrance doors crafted in Victorian Ash.