Tuesday 19th of May 2020
Queenstown-based plumbing apprentice Alan Wharton has won a Plumbing World Scholarship at the national New Zealand Plumbing awards, held online on Tuesday 19 May.
Alan, aged 34, is in the fourth and final year of his plumbing and gasfitting apprenticeship. He is hosted by Flints Plumbing and Drainage in Queenstown and has demonstrated natural leadership qualities from the start.
He was nominated for the scholarship by Masterlink Southern Regional Manager Brendan Parker who says, “Alan Wharton is unwilling to settle for anything other than the best. From the start, he has fully engaged to understand everything put in front of him. He has become someone with an incredible thirst for knowledge, understanding and clarity in his trade.
“He is always well prepared and engaged at block course. His passion and commitment to the industry is first class. Other students go to him for assistance.”
Alan received the Southland Master Plumbers top apprentice award in 2017.
Since then he has taken on his host company’s large domestic and commercial service and maintenance division as his main role, which has helped him further develop his customer-facing skills.
Alan reckons plumbing is his fourth career, having worked as a snowboard instructor, in hospitality, in events and as a crew member on the TSS Earnslaw.
Brendan says Alan has flourished. The complex nature of some of these jobs in remote locations, such as the Milford Track, means Alan has really had to use his resourcefulness and every part of his training to work through problems he has either never come across before or that require a special aptitude few people possess.
Alan is Masterlink’s apprentice Health and Safety Representative for the South Island. He is not afraid to speak up when necessary and has his sights set on being the Health and Safety Rep within his company.
Alan also attended the inaugural meeting of the newly-formed Queenstown Lakes branch of Master Plumbers meeting, networking with like-minded tradesmen and gaining knowledge about what is changing in the area and the industry.
Plumbing World Scholarships are awarded to Masterlink apprentices who have demonstrated diligence in their studies and a passion for the industry.
Alan wins a trophy, a certificate and $1000 to spend at his local Plumbing World branch.
As the overall Supreme Scholarship winner, Alan also wins a trip to the 2021 New Zealand Plumbing Conference in Marlborough from 24-26 March.