The MLAA’s John Andrew Apprentice of the Year Competition (JAAOTY) recognises the next generation of high achievers in the locksmithing industry in Australia and New Zealand. The competition also acknowledges the support provided by the Apprentice’s mentor. For an Apprentice to win the competition, a good mentor is essential.
The competition tests both traditional locksmithing skills such as lock picking, lock fitting and master keying, but it also focusses on the new skills a good locksmith needs to keep up to date with the locksmithing industry’s rapidly changing technology. These skills include automotive diagnostics and key programming, and electronic safe lock programming.
Eligible Apprentices are put through their paces over a 6-hour testing period, with the testing conducted at K J Ross Security Locks in Knoxfield, a local manufacturer of safe locks. What makes the competition a little more interesting is that the Apprentices are being tested in front of their peers. While this adds a little pressure, it also helps in the establishment of a new group of like-minded young locksmiths who just may help shape the industry in the years to come.
The prize on offer is perhaps the best locksmithing prize anywhere in the world, with the winner and their mentor receiving a fully funded trip to Europe to visit the Silca factory in Italy and the ABUS factory in Germany, both world-class lock manufacturing facilities.