The great resignation

AND THE RISE OF the TRADIES. Recent growth in New Zealand carpentry apprentices has led Master Builders to open its annual carpentry apprentice competition to all ages.

Jarred Badham 2021 RMB Carters Apprentice of the Year

Press release: Registered Master Builders - March 2022.

Registered Masters Builders has announced its Apprentice of the Year competition in partnership with CARTERS will now be open to all ages, as more older apprentices, and second career seekers look for opportunities in the building sector.

Dubbed the "Great Resignation", both in New Zealand and globally we are seeing more people re-evaluate their employment and look for new opportunities. A recent study by AUT reports that those most likely to leave their jobs has increased from 34.7% to 46.4% since the inception of Covid. However, the study also showed that one of the professions that are most likely to retain employees are the trades. This is also evident in the record level of building and carpentry apprentices now signing up to join the sector.

Where once an apprentice would join their trade straight from school, we are now seeing older apprentices join the sector. The average age of a BCITO apprentice is currently around 27 or 28, and many are coming to building as a second or even third career.

Last year’s Apprentice of the Year national winner, Jarred Badham says that the pandemic solidified his decision to get into carpentry. “After five years as an aircraft mechanic with a hobby of building furniture, I decided it was time for a change and I became a carpentry apprentice. Looking back now and how times have changed, it was the best change I could have made, " reflects Jarred Badham.

Jarred’s employer, Stewart Buchanan of Nailing It, believes having a mature apprentice is a real asset. "It's great to have someone who's had a bit of life experience. Jarred is able to apply his prior learnings and life skills to his job now, which I see as a real bonus."

Master Builders has opened the Apprentice of the Year competition age limit to reflect the employment landscape and our new climate.

Master Builders Chief Executive, David Kelly comments on the benefits the trades has to offer. “Apprenticeships provide fantastic career opportunities – not only do you earn as you learn, but you are also part of an industry with strong job prospects and opportunities for growth. It is great to see that this is being recognised by so many New Zealanders. The Apprentice of the Year competition helps young apprentices as they begin their careers and also recognises the employers who invest in young talent.

“The pandemic has influenced the way that Kiwis are thinking about their jobs, and we felt this was the perfect time to welcome all ages to partake in our competition.

“Our industry needs more skilled builders to not only meet our current demand, but to provide a pipeline of skilled workers as we look to our recovery. The Government Apprenticeship Boost has been a great initiative and is also a huge contributor to the rise of new apprentices. Programmes such as these are essential to help bring talent on board and create a skilled construction workforce,” continued Kelly.

Entries for this year’s Apprentice of the Year are open from 18 March to 14 April. Apply now.


For further information please contact:

Greta Morrison , Acumen NZ, 027 505 5606

About Master Builders 2022 Apprentice of the Year, in partnership with CARTERS

The Master Builders Apprentice of the Year, in partnership with CARTERS, recognises excellence among carpentry apprentices and raises awareness of career opportunities in the building and construction industry. It’s a competition that looks to find the future industry leaders and tests several aspects of a well-rounded apprentice, not just their skills on the tools.

This competition would not be possible without the support of Principal Partner CARTERS and Event Partner BCITO.

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