Canterbury rebuild inspires top apprentice

Building apprentice Hamish Ward has been named the Central South Island’s Registered Master Builders Carters 2015 Apprentice of the Year.

The 26-year-old from Christchurch works for Leighs Construction and is studying towards a Diploma in Construction Management.RMB AOY 2015

Hamish originally joined the army but moved into carpentry following the Canterbury earthquakes. He said that after helping survivors out of the damaged buildings, he was motivated to join the construction industry.

“I knew that with the army, I might have had to be overseas, but at the time the big job ahead of me was the rebuild of my hometown, Christchurch.”

Judges said the winning apprentice is a future industry leader who showed “passion and enthusiasm” for the building trade.

“Hamish impressed us from the outset with his confidence and direct communication skills. He explained his project in a faultless manner and has thorough and extensive building knowledge in both commercial and residential construction.”

Hamish was awarded a range of products and tools, $2,000 to spend at Carters, and a spot at an Outward Bound Course.

Second place in the Central South Island region was awarded to Jono Blakely, 19, from Christchurch, and employed by Andrew James Builders Limited. Adam Parnell, 21, from Christchurch and employed by John Creighton Builders Limited was awarded third place.
The results were announced at an awards evening on Thursday 20 August at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

RMBA Chief Executive David Kelly says the outstanding group of contenders this year reflects a real commitment from the construction industry to apprenticeships.

“It’s been fantastic to see the skill and commitment of these 145 young apprentices as they make their way towards becoming Master Builders. It’s safe to say the future of the construction industry is in extremely safe hands, and the public should be reassured that these young people are intent on achieving the very best quality in their craft,” he says.

“This competition gives us a glimpse of the capability and determination amongst New Zealand’s apprentices, and has given them a chance to demonstrate their hard work and passion for construction.”

Mr Kelly says the growth in apprentice numbers was a real step forward for the sector.
Carters Chief Executive Mike Guy says supporting Apprentice of the Year not only demonstrates Carters' commitment to ongoing education but also recognises the new talent entering the construction industry.

Carters' National Sales Manager Rob Watson places importance on constructing lasting partnerships with the future leaders of the building trade.

“As the building industry continues to grow, the training and mentorship of new talent is vital to the future of our industry. Apprentice of the Year supports excellence and helps apprentices gain invaluable recognition in the industry,” he says.

Hamish will now proceed to compete against the winners from the other nine regions at the national competition in Auckland, on 8 and 9 October.

Each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge where each apprentice will be tasked with building a playhouse to be donated to local charities. The practical challenge will take place at The Cloud on 9 October and will be open to the public.

The winner of the Registered Master Builders Carters 2015 Apprentice of the Year will then be announced at an awards dinner at The Cloud that evening.

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the Apprentice of the Year Facebook page.

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 sponsors the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and APL through their Altherm, First and Vantage brands.

Find out more about Apprentice of the Year

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