News / Top Electrical Apprentices Announced

Top Electrical Apprentices Announced

August 25 2023

Jack Norris and Chris Read have been crowned New Zealand’s top apprentice sparkies in the Master Electricians Apprentice Challenge, the industry’s annual competition for electrical apprentices.

Out of a record 317 apprentices who took up the final Challenge Jack, 24 of Canterbury took out the domestic/commerical title and Chris, 32 of Auckland the industrial title at the Gala Awards ceremony at Auckland’s Grand Millenium Hotel.

“It’s no small thing to reach the finals letalone win the title of Apprentice of the Year,” says Master Electricians Acting Chief Executive and General Manager Operations Mathew Lawrence.

“This event really tests apprentices technically, mentally and physically. It was an intense couple of days for the 10 finalists as they are all very focused high achievers at the top of their game. We had some tight competition and scores, but Jack and Chris have really shown they’re at the top of their game.”

The finalists had to complete five two-hour practical modules over two days, reflecting various scenarios an apprentice might face on the job.

All of the apprentices had been given a heads up on the modules in advance so that they have time to brush up on what they need to do and be in with a chance to win.

Jack, who’s employed by Aotea Electric Canterbury, has achieved his goal of winning at his second attempt at the Challenge.

“I can’t return and then not win. So I’m pretty stoked it’s a real achievement for me,” says Jack who first started at Aotea Electric as a labourer fresh out of high school. After 18 months, he took a two-year stint overseas and when he returned to the company was asked to become an apprentice.

“Becoming an apprentice wasn’t something I was looking for at the time, but I’m really glad I’ve done it. It’s great work.”

For Chris, it’s his first year at the Challenge as he commences the second year of his apprenticeship with Dalton Electrical in Auckland.

“I’m ecstatic at winning. It’s been stressful, really tested my skills but rewarding and a lot of fun,” says Chris who studied autotronics at Unitec, before starting his career with an auto electrical apprenticeship. He then spent time working and travelling overseas, including working for an electrical wholesaler.

A third prize goes to Liam George, Auckland winner of the Initiative Award.

“It’s my first year at the Challenge and it’s been a true challenge, but I really enjoyed it and feel excited about getting this award,” says  Liam, who is employed by Etco and hosted by Athenry Electrical, Auckland.

Liam, 28, worked as a service technician for an Auckland company before starting an apprenticeship as a traction line mechanic. He then decided to take up an electrical apprenticeship – and hasn’t looked back. He’s in his third year, employed by Etco and hosted by Athenry Electrical.

“I love it, it’s a good industry to work in. I work with great people, every day is different and I like the problem-solving aspect of the work.”

The challenge, which is in its 22nd year aims promote the benefits of electrical apprenticeships and recognise excellence, quality and innovation in the industry.


This year’ Master Electricans Apprentice Challenge is sponsored by:

ABB, Corys Electrical, Cuthbert Stewart Ltd, Etco, Firstflex, Hobeca, Ideal Electrical, Legrand, Mechanical Support Systems, Milwaukee, NHP, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electrical and SIMPRO.

Back to top