Search is on for the forest and wood industries' top performers in the 2010 FITEC Awards

Tuesday 2 March 2010, 2:16PM

The time is now to nominate the best and the brightest of the forest and wood industry in the annual FITEC National Training Awards.

Nominations are now open and companies have until the end of May to put forward their outstanding candidates including Modern Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year and Training Company of the Year.

“The FITEC awards lift the profile of our industry and the winners have been great industry ambassadors,” says Ian Boyd, FITEC Chief Executive. “It has been interesting to watch the successful career paths of previous winners and this is indicative of the overall success of forestry and wood industry training.

“Past winners of FITEC awards have gone on to do great things and we’re looking forward to seeing the quality of this year’s nominees. Each year’s finalists go from strength-to-strength, and it’s inspirational to see the best of our forestry apprentices, trainees and companies get the recognition they deserve.”

There is also a general industry award for Outstanding Business Performance through People Development and a FITEC award to celebrate their best Training Leader of the Year.

Last year’s winner of the Modern Apprentice award for forestry, Warren Ropiha of HB Forestry, says the FITEC Award literally changed his life.

“My son was in and out of hospital in the first year of his life as we could only rent a cold, damp house,” says Warren. “Winning the Apprentice of the Year Award gave me the training and qualifications I needed to get a great job and afford a much healthier home for my family. My son’s doing great!”

Other forestry winners from last year were Anthony Murray for top trainee and Sobieski Contractors for the company category. Tenon Manufacturing Ltd in Taupo won the 2009 Training Company of the Year – Wood Manufacturing.

Winners of the National Training Awards for 2010 will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony in Rotorua on 9 September, with category finalists and their guests attending. The nomination form, eligibility and criteria are available by going to

Separate to the Training Awards, FITEC is also awarding four scholarships a year in its Emerging Leaders Scholarships, which aims to identify emerging leaders, promote excellence and encourage a higher level of career development. Scholarship winners can choose between an eight-day Outward Bound Navigation Course, worth $4,000, or a $2,000 three-day NZ Institute of Management Leadership, Motivation and Team Building course.