Learners we work with

Toby Marsh


Signmaking Apprentice of the Year

Toby Marsh from Signbiz in Christchurch says he “couldn’t be happier” to be named the 2019 New Zealand Sign & Display Association (NZSDA) Apprentice of the Year.

“Signage has offered me the opportunity to mix my creative side and my passion for cars on a daily basis, while producing and installing signage at some of the biggest companies in New Zealand,” says 23-year-old Toby.

“This has involved working alongside Greg Murphy on the graphics for the cars he has recently campaigned, through to helping my mates stand out on the track, or in a forest, in their race cars.”

While cars are a big part of his life, the young apprentice is quick to add that people who work in the signmaking industry are often known as the “Jack (or Jill) of all trades”.

“One minute we could be fabricating a sign frame to install signage on a building, then we might do some engineering like welding, or electrical work like using LED lights to illuminate a sign. There are a lot of skills in signmaking that people outside the industry often don’t think of.”

Toby joined Signbiz in 2015 and started his four-year apprenticeship in 2016.

He enjoyed graphic design at school but didn’t want to be “stuck in an office in front of a computer screen all day”, preferring to find a job with a good balance of creativity and hands-on production. Signmaking was the perfect career and he hasn’t looked back.

Competenz Training Advisor Steven Jack says he was impressed with Toby’s talent and passion for his apprenticeship from day one.

“Toby has consistently produced a high standard of work and you can tell how much he loves it. It’s great to see his work recognised formally by the signmaking industry.”