Young carpentry apprentices all over the country are sharpening their tools and honing their skills as they prepare to contest the inaugural national title in the Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition, in association with Carters.
Key players in New Zealand’s construction industry have joined forces to find the country’s top carpentry apprentice as part of an ongoing commitment to recognise excellence among apprentices, and raise awareness of careers in the industry.
Backed by principal sponsor Carters and supporting sponsors the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), Registered Master Builders Federation (RMBF) and the Department of Building and Housing, this year’s competition is being staged in 10 regions around New Zealand, before the winner of each region heads to Wellington to compete for the national title in November.
A record 134 entries have been received in the 2007 competition, which has experienced huge growth since starting as a Wellington-based contest in 2004, and expanding to nine regional competitions nationwide in the following two years.
BCITO chief executive Ruma Karaitiana says the increase in interest in the 2007 Apprentice of the Year is due, in part, to the introduction of a national title, as well as growing recognition and support for the competition from the public and the construction industry.
It also reflects the emphasis the Government is placing on industry training.
“With more than 8500 carpentry apprentices registered at training organisations in New Zealand, the Apprentice of the Year Awards are an important and valued initiative which help ensure the development of a sustainable workforce in our country,” Mr Karaitiana says.
Awards serve to inspire
“The awards serve to inspire the next generation of skilled carpenters by recognising and encouraging excellence as well as the hard work and determination required to complete an apprenticeship.”
In the coming weeks, entrants in the competition will be interviewed by a judging panel, made up of representatives from Registered Master Builders, the BCITO and Carters.
Up to 10 finalists will then be selected from each region and the judging panel will undertake a site visit to each finalist’s building site to determine regional winners.
The 10 regional winners will be announced at awards evenings around the country between mid-September and the end of October, before the regional winners meet in Wellington to compete for the National Apprentice of the Year title on November 6 and 7.