Apprentices go from strength to strength

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Judging for the regional Registered Master Builders Carters 2014 Apprentice of the Year events is now complete, and judges say the quality of entries is stronger than ever.

Central South Island judge Rob Sloan says the entrants’ overall technical knowledge and practical ability is strong.

“This year’s apprentices show a real passion for their chosen trade and a thirst for more knowledge and experience. Particularly impressive in the interview was the apprentices’ willingness to converse openly about themselves, their jobs, their projects and their employers,” he says.

“As a whole, the quality of candidates this year is incredibly strong. Health and safety awareness and practice are at an advanced level, with most apprentices showing onsite leadership in this area.”

Winning apprentices in each of the nine regions will go on to compete in the national competition in Auckland in October, where each apprentice will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel.

Finalists will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge where they will each be tasked with completing a small building project, to be gifted to local charities on completion. The practical challenge will take place at The Cloud on Friday, October 17, and will be open to the public.

The winner of the Registered Master Builders Carters 2014 Apprentice of the Year will then be announced at an awards dinner at The Cloud.
Mr Sloan says there are a number of qualities that the judges look for in a winning apprentice.

“A broad knowledge of construction techniques and the ability to complete quality work in a timely manner are stand out qualities to a judge. That’s what we’re really looking for,” he says.

“At the site visit the apprentice is tasked with walking the judges through their practical work. A thorough understanding of building systems and materials used on site, health and safety processes, and client and sub-trades are crucial to success.

“We believe the Apprentice of the Year competition can inspire candidates to think beyond their current trade position. It can help them understand how their trade qualifications, combined with further learning and experience, can progress and elevate their careers.”

Mr Sloan says while the quality of entries is generally high, there is one thing that all apprentices can do to strengthen their entry.

“The best advice we can give to any entrant in future years is to have the final application reviewed and assessed by a capable third party before it is sent. You would be surprised what a difference that extra pair of eyes can make!”

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/apprenticeoftheyear. For more information visit www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz.

Owned by the Registered Master Builders Association, the Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor Carters, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsor the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).