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Accountant turned plumber wins top apprentice award

26 March 2018
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Before deciding plumbing was the career for him, Kelly Adam completed a commerce degree, majoring in accounting.

Now, having completed his four-year apprenticeship, Kelly has won the prestigious James Douglas Medallion at the 2018 New Zealand Plumbing Awards, held on 23 March at Claudelands in Hamilton.

This award recognises the country’s top newly qualified apprentice in plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying.

The winner receives a Career Development Scholarship to help them further their industry progress.

Kelly works at Master Plumbers' member business Impact Roofing & Plumbing in Dunedin.

The firm provides domestic and commercial services, with clients including Fonterra, Speights and Otago University.

He carried out his apprenticeship through Masterlink—a group scheme that employs apprentices and places them with host plumbing firms.

Kelly’s Masterlink mentor Roger Herd nominated him for the award, noting his strong work ethic, attention to detail and willingness to assist other apprentices.

“Nothing seems to faze Kelly,” he says. “I was always met with a smile and his dry sense of humour.”

Kelly is now entrusted with high-value contracts. He is also helping train up the next round of apprentices at the firm.

“Five years ago a casual conversation started me on this journey, and I haven’t looked back,” Kelly said on accepting his award.

He gave special thanks to his wife for supporting his vocational change.

With a commerce qualification under his belt, he is well placed to run his own plumbing business some day.

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