Apprentices put their skills to the test in the great outdoors


Six carpentry apprentices have completed a three-week Outward Bound course which was awarded to them as Registered Master Builders Carters 2015 Apprentice of the Year national finalists.

As future leaders of the construction industry, the experience was an opportunity for the apprentices to broaden their skill sets, grow self-confidence, and build relationships with like-minded apprentices.

The finalists that took part in the course included Shaun Campbell from Nelson, Matt Booth from Palmerston North and Hamish Ward from Christchurch.

They said the experience — which included kayaking, rock climbing, sailing, hiking, high-ropes, and team-building activities — was physically and mentally rewarding.

2015 Apprentice of the Year national winner Shaun Campbell says the courses were great, as they were able to be adapted to any skill level.

“Those that had already done the activities were blindfolded to make it more challenging — it was great fun,” he says.

“It was fantastic to spend three weeks in the outdoors, accomplishing challenges alongside fellow apprentices. We all speak the same language which made the experience even more enjoyable.”

2015 national finalist Matt Booth says Outward Bound is a great experience for all kinds of people. 

“It’s a chance to challenge yourself, meet some amazing people and visit some great parts of New Zealand. I would absolutely do it again!

“Many activities required a high degree of trust between your group members. You had to rely on people who were guiding you through the activities, so that created a strong bond between everyone.”

2015 national finalist Hamish Ward shared similar sentiments, reflecting on the greater sense of community that the experience cultivated.

“Outward Bound taught me that I can make a difference to the people around me, and I should use the opportunities I have to do so,” he says.

“My advice to anyone thinking of doing it is to learn as little about it as possible, and go into it with a really open mind.”

The apprentices say they were incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend Outward Bound, and would definitely consider completing another course in the future.

They all recommend that the 2016 national finalists for Apprentice of the Year take advantage of the course and give it a go.

The Registered Master Builders 2016 Apprentice of the Year national finalists will be announced in September 2016, with the national winner announced in November 2016.

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be part of the construction industry are also encouraged to join the Facebook page at

The Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor Carters, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsors the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and APL through their Altherm, First and Vantage brands.

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