Contribution from Graeme Melville
This young man is a recently graduated top engineer. He came first in a Waikato regional final, testing engineers’ skills and for the national competition, covering all of New Zealand, he placed third. The company that employs Blake Wilkins is Perfect Air, in Campbell Street, Whitianga.
On Thursday 24 and Friday, 25 of November IRHACE, the Institution of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers of New Zealand ( IRHACE), held the annual Wallie Askew Memorial Workskills Competition at Steelfort in Palmerston North.
After successfully placing first in the Waikato regional competition in September, Blake Wilkins, representing his company, Perfect Air, competed in Palmerston North against New Zealand’s best recently graduated engineers. The competition consisted of a theory test, sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric, fault finding sponsored by Eurotech and a practical assessment sponsored by Fujitsu. The range of tests, challenges the technicians/engineers to display their skills in all facets of the trade, where only the most well-rounded engineers are successful. The practical test consisted of the construction of a copper tube sign saying ‘CHILL’ - then refrigerating the lettering creating frosted wording.
Blake successfully placed third in New Zealand as a result of this very detailed round of tests. This is a proud achievement showcasing his engineering talent and the variety of work, skills, education, and opportunities Whitianga provides apprentices.
Blake completed his time as an apprentice with local companies commencing his apprenticeship with Coastal Refrigeration and completing it with Perfect Air. He was an apprentice for three and half years with Perfect Air and t is now a year since he graduated. Blake can be proud of his achievements and is now tasked with mentoring the next generation to the same standard.
Blake has been an apprentice three and half years and has has been qualified for year.
Caption: Blake Wilkins