Life-changing 24 hours for 2016 Apprentice of the Year


Palmerston North’s Callum Bryson had an exciting 24 hours recently, being named the Registered Master Builders Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year and tying the knot the following day. 

The 25-year-old, employed by McMillan & Lockwood PN Ltd, said he was quite amazed at winning the national award, as there was some pretty stiff competition.

“Apprentice of the Year was such a fantastic opportunity, and to come out on top was an awesome result. And then to get married the next day was the cherry on top — it was definitely a weekend I will never forget!” he says.

Callum says he entered Apprentice of the Year to compete against the best of the best in the industry.

“The competition brings together the best carpentry apprentices from all over New Zealand, and I wanted to test myself against them. There are also some fantastic prizes on offer which is an added bonus!” he says.

All three placegetters in this year’s competition were from the commercial sector, illustrating the strong presence of commercial builders in the sector and the breadth of opportunities available for future apprentices.

Callum says the highlight of the competition was working alongside his fellow apprentices building playhouses, which were donated to local schools.

“It was great working alongside all the other guys. They are all bloody good chippies and I learnt a lot from them throughout the competition,” he says.

The national judges said Callum was a deserving winner — passionate, with an outstanding breadth of knowledge across the sector.

“Callum is a strong all-rounder, achieving excellent results at every stage — the written submission, interview and practical challenge,” they said.

“While modest and humble, he has proven himself as a very capable leader, with a fantastic career ahead of him.”

Callum wants to encourage future apprentices to get into the building trade, saying it’s a great time to be an apprentice.

“The construction industry is experiencing massive growth at the moment, and it’s fantastic to be reaping the rewards from it,” he says.

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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