Dunedin carpentry apprentice Joe Dobson has taken out the top award in the Registered Master Builders 2008 Apprentice of the Year competition, in association with Carters.
Joe, 22, beat nine other top apprentices from around the country for the title and was presented with his award at a ceremony in Wellington recently.
Tauranga apprentice Shane Swan, 25, was second and 23-year-old Blenheim apprentice Roger Townley took out third place.
Joe, who is employed by Warren Baker Ltd but is currently working on secondment with Stewart Construction, is passionate about building and has excellent communications skills, according to national judging panel member Paul Mitchell.
Mr Mitchell, from the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), says Joe is a dedicated tradesperson who takes a professional approach to all his working relationships, whether with clients, subcontractors or his teammates.
“One of the things that impressed the judges most was Joe’s ‘get stuck in’ approach, and his belief that it is up to the apprentice to take responsibility for their learning,” Mr Mitchell says.
“He’s a calm and confident builder, with a great future ahead of him. Joe is an asset to his employer and to the industry.”
Minister for Building and Construction Shane Jones says he is thrilled that the competition received record entry numbers this year, reflecting the enthusiasm of apprentices for the industry.
“It’s great to see such a motivated and bright bunch of young people entering the construction industry and to recognise their success. The future of the sector is in safe hands.”
The event was attended by more than 100 people, including the Minister, apprentices and their families, and key representatives of the construction industry.
During the two-day national final the finalists attended a morning tea at Parliament hosted by Mr Jones, took a special underground tour of Parliament Buildings and visited the BRANZ testing centre at Judgeford, Porirua.
The Apprentice of the Year is made possible by principal sponsor Carters and supporting sponsors the BCITO, Registered Master Builders Federation (RMBF) and the Department of Building and Housing.
“Carters congratulates all winners and national finalists, and is proud to support our future industry leaders through this competition,” Carters national operations manager Andrew Cochrane says.
Now in its fifth year, the Apprentice of the Year competition has undergone significant growth since its inception in 2004, with this year’s competition attracting a record 135 entries in 10 regions throughout the country.
Entries in the 2009 competition open in March. Further details will be available in Carters stores nationwide and online at www.masterbuilder.org.nz, or call Rebecca Kennedy on 04 494 5177.