Christchurch apprentice wins national AOY final

Christchurch carpentry apprentice Tom Southen has been named the Registered Master Builders Carters 2014 Apprentice of the Year, following a demanding practical test held in Auckland on Friday 17 October which saw each apprentice building a children’s playhouse for charity.

Kyran Vaniperen, 25, employed by Coastal Homes in Coopers Beach, Northland and trained through the BCITO was placed second in the competition, while Ryan Smith-Pilling of Palmerston North, 21, employed by Nailing It in Feilding and trained through BCITO was third.

Tom, 23, employed by Farmbuild and trained through the BCITO completed a playhouse which will now be gifted to Life Education Trust Counties Manukau. Tom has won a suite of prizes including an Apple iPad, a Carters Business Tools Grant towards furthering his career valued at $5,000, a tool and safety gear pack worth $1,000 and the use of a Ford Ranger XLT vehicle for the duration of his reign as Apprentice of the Year.

The competition judges said: “Tom’s dedication to his job and his hard-working nature was incredibly impressive. The project he submitted was his first as a lead on a job and saw him working 65 hour weeks. He interviewed well and his workmanship was of an exceptionally high standard.

“Tom’s pride in his work and his many talents make him an extremely worthy winner of this year’s Apprentice of the Year title.”

The nine finalists from up and down the country were put through their paces over the two days of the national competition, each undergoing a 45-minute interview with the judging panel, followed by the practical judging component in front of family, colleagues, friends, and the public.

The gala dinner awards evening, hosted by MC and actor Millen Baird was held at The Cloud in Auckland the same Friday evening.

Registered Master Builders Acting Chief Executive (2014), Brendon Ward says he was thrilled to see over 130 young people stepping up to compete in the Apprentice of the Year competition this year.

“All the apprentices who have taken part in the competition have done themselves proud, especially our national finalists, proving our industry is in good stead with an impressive bunch of future leaders,” he says.

“Congratulations especially to our winner, Tom, and our place-getters who have really stood out as rising stars. As our newest Registered Master Builders members, we look forward to seeing what they have to offer our bustling industry.”

Carters Auckland Area Manager Mike Guy congratulated the nine apprentices who have showed outstanding talent throughout their regional competitions, enabling them to progress through to the national finals.

“The employers must also be applauded for the role they play in the training and development of their apprentices,” he says.

“Carters is focused on supporting the apprentices and we hope our involvement in the competition gives the participants in Apprentice of the Year a memorable experience. They are the future of the New Zealand construction industry and we are proud to be assisting them in the best possible start to their careers.”

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

Watch the practical final in action

More details about AOY 2014 winners

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