Apprentice of the Year — be in to win!


Just a quick reminder that it’s not too late to enter the Registered Master Builders Carters 2009 Apprentice of the Year, a competition that recognises excellence among young carpentry apprentices.

After all, you are the future leaders of New Zealand’s construction industry, and the competition’s sponsors (Carters, Registered Master Builders, BCITO and the Department of Building and Housing) want to celebrate your success.

How can you enter?

All you need to do is go to and download an entry form. Otherwise, you can contact the BCITO or Registered Master Builders, or visit your local Carters store.

The entry form is pretty simple. We just need:
• your name and contact details, and your employer’s too,
• a couple of reasons why you’re the best apprentice in your region, 
• comments from your employer and training provider about why they think you deserve to win, and
• a short description of a building project that you’re proud to have worked on. Entries close on Friday 31 July, so get your entries in now!

What about the judging?

A regional panel of judges (some good guys from Registered Master Builders, Carters and BCITO) will read your entry form and invite you to have a chat with them to find out more about why you are the best apprentice in your region.

After the interviews, up to 10 regional finalists will be selected and the judges will visit each finalist’s place of work to decide who the regional winner and placegetters are.

The judges will be keeping an eye out for a few things so, as a bit of a heads up, they’ll be looking for:
• your personal attributes (communication skills, teamwork, appearance and presentation, reliability and contribution),
• your knowledge of the sector, the law (acts and regulations) and building materials,
• your practical skills (presentation of projects, quality of work and attitude), and
• endorsement by other parties (your employer, training organisation and reference reports).

What can you win?

As well as getting a cool trophy and being known as the best apprentice in your area, each regional winner gets to go on a specialist Outward Bound Leadership Programme tailored for Apprentice of the Year winners (valued at up to $2600 plus travel).

They also receive a scholarship towards study in any construction or business course (valued at up to $2000), or a Carters voucher to be used for a substantial purchase (ie, a major tool) within 12 months following the competition (valued at up to $1500).

Regional placegetters are given regional placegetters certificates, and win awesome prize packs from Carters and their suppliers, including tools and products from Makita, Stanley, Irwin Industrial Tools and Wholesafe, as well as merchandise from the BCITO and material from the Department of Building and Housing.

And that’s not all! Everyone who enters the competition also receives an apprenticeship membership to the Registered Master Builders Federation for one year, including a subscription to Building Today.

Now for the fine print

The competition is open to all carpentry apprentices — you don’t have to work for a Registered Master Builder or be training with the BCITO to take part.
There are just a few conditions: to enter, you must have completed a minimum of two years of your National Certificate in Carpentry employed on site, or have completed your apprenticeship within six months of the closing date — Friday 31 July, 2009 — and be aged 26 years or younger as at 31 December 2009.

You need to be employed with a building company or individual builder at the time of judging. However, for the 2009 competition the management committee will consider requests to waive this requirement where the apprentice has lost their full-time employment due to the recession.
You’ll just have to submit a reference as part of your entry from your most recent supervising employer.

What’s next if you win?

Good news! The winners of each regional competition automatically become a finalist in the national competition, and will be flown to Wellington (along with three members of your family — or your best mates) in October to go head-to-head with the other top apprentices from around New Zealand.

The national winner of Apprentice of the Year in 2009 will receive a trip for two to a trade show worth $3000, a Carters Future Development Grant towards business or management study courses to the value of $5000, as well as more prizes to be confirmed.

Expert advice from last year’s winners

What to expect . . .

“I think the judges wanted to see that entrants had demonstrated a level of leadership on their jobs. I also spent a lot of time preparing my entry material, researching aspects of the Building Code and talking to people in the industry — you can never be too prepared!
Shane Swan, Registered Master Builders Carters 2008 Apprentice of the Year for the Tauranga region.

Worth giving it a go?

“I think there were a lot of eligible apprentices last year who just didn’t give it a shot. I would definitely say ‘do it’ — you might surprise yourself.”
Roger Townley, Registered Master Builders Carters 2008 Apprentice of the Year for the Nelson/Marlborough region.

Still need more information?
If you need a hand with anything, call Kate Cooney on 04 494 5121 or email

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