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Rick has run some night classes in my shop in recent times for apprentices to help them with their book work with one of them being an apprentice of mine and he found these night classes extremely helpful. Also, in my role as the Chairman of the Collision Repair Association I get to be a judge of our annual apprentice of the year awards, one for a panelbeater and another for an automotive painter. With the judging process I get to do some interviews with these apprentices and the apprentices that Rick has assisted have always rated very highly. Both of this year’s winners having been under his wing and they both in fact completed their apprenticeships a lot earlier than normal which they accredited to the help given to them by Rick. He has also given so much of his own time for this trade so there is no doubt in my mind that Rick is the perfect person for this type of scheme, and he is also highly motivated to make a difference.
Brent Mackay
We use Smart Trade Solutions Ltd to help tutor our apprentices. With their expertise help and guidance, we have found our staff are able to achieve outstanding results towards completing the apprenticeships and becoming qualified at their chosen trade.
Amy Blenkarne
Operations Manager - Shields Bros Panel and Paint
Having a reputable team like Smart Trade Solutions both recruiting and training apprentices so that they have the knowledge, skills, experience, and passion to go head firsts into work, is something I believe will change how both the Collision Repair Industry is perceived and operates.
Mike Bradley
R.S Lane Panel and Paint
I have known of Rick’s involvement in the collision repair industry for 15 years. Rick has always impressed as a prominent member of the industry who is passionate about training of technicians. In this regard I know that I-CAR New Zealand is lucky to have him as one of their lead instructors.

Rick is an active in the mentoring and pastoral care of many collision repair and refinish apprentice learners. AT CRA, we provide 2 scholar ships annually and the most prized feature of this scholarship is to have Rick as a resource available to recipients to encourage, coach, and mentor.

Rick’s involvement extends to working with our Northland Branch and with MITO where his services to learners are highly valued. He is a great ambassador for training in general and in the collision repair industry in particular.
Neil Pritchard
General Manager - Collision Repair Association
Having been in the industry for 30 years we have seen a rapid decline in finding staff to join the automotive collision industry. This is causing a major gap in our industry as we have no young people coming through.

What Smart Trade Solutions are proposing is just what the industry needs, moving forward I see it as a game changer and is going to provide opportunities for our young youth moving forward. We have seen the benefits of what Smart Trade Solutions have done with apprenticeship training so far and this will only benefit the industry as finding staff is one of the hardest things to do.
Bruce Stirling
Precision Panel and Paint
I have worked with Rick Lunn since 2005 in varying capacities within the education sector. We have worked together to support aspiring apprentices on pre trade courses and those already employed in their trades. We also worked together as volunteers for many years with Skillex and more recently Worldskills. This involvement gave Rick and I the opportunity to see the standards that are required to be the very best in your chosen trade worldwide.

Rick has an absolute heart for young people and goes the extra mile time and again to help them succeed. Rick has an excellent knowledge of many of the trades. The ones I have mostly been involved with him are automotive, panel beating, painting and electrical.

Rick is very highly regarded throughout Northland, and I would even say much of New Zealand, and he has the total respect of employers and apprentices alike. Rick is a pleasure to work with and a real professional in all that he does. I wish him all the best in his endeavours and look forward to working with him for many years to come. Please do not hesitate to contact me for further reference.
Simon Phelps
I have worked with Rick over many years and seen the great outcomes he has achieved supporting apprentices across many industries and ITOs involving multiple employers, providers and other stakeholders. Rick has the experience and aptitude to understand learner life and skill needs and to effectively tailor appropriate support to develop foundation, employability and technical skills required for successful employment… Rick’s particular passion is for the skill development across the collision repair industry and his widespread support from employers, suppliers and other stakeholders is no accident but comes from a well-earned respect for consistently high achievement of great outcomes over many years.
Ken Eastwood (M. Agric. Sci.)
Eastwood Consulting
I have had the pleasure of working with Rick through my role at Tikipunga High School in the Trades Academy. He has always been very good at touching base with me and following up any correspondence that would benefit the students, even helping to broker Work Experience & Employment placements for the students. Rick is always happy to offer support and encouragement to help the students succeed. I would have no hesitation in recommending Rick for any new adventures he may take on in the future.
Treena McCarroll
Tikipunga High Automotive Trades Dept
We have developed a great relationship with Rick in quite a short time. He has shown a fantastic level of commitment to our students who are interested in pursuing their passions. Rick is an absolute necessity in our school as we are quite remote and struggle with creating connections within industries who are interested in supporting our students. I look forward to growing our career programme and I know with Rick’s support we will be able to provide our students with so much more than a basket full of credits.
Stacey Noel
TKKM O HOKIANGA - Career coordinator

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