This year’s competition is bound to be one of the toughest yet, as New Zealand’s construction and building boom continues. With one in five new jobs created in the next three years’ forecast to be in construction*, an apprenticeship in the trades offers significant opportunities.
Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says there never been a better time to pursue a career in the trades, with the current skills shortage creating many opportunities for quality tradies.
“Construction companies are actively seeking skilled apprentices to fill the current demand. Almost 80 percent of construction firms reported vacancies last year **. By completing an apprenticeship, apprentices can not only earn as they learn, they are also entering a career with great job security,” he says.
“Apprentice of the Year is a fantastic way to support the industry by showcasing its future leaders.”
Entries for the competition open on Monday 10 April, and apprentices can be in the running to win a share of more than $100,000 in prizes, as well as the sought-after title of 2017 Apprentice of the Year.
The number of Apprentice of the Year entries continues to increase year on year and last year 164 apprentices from around New Zealand competed for the sought-after title. This reflects the ongoing growth in the sector, and the recognition of the value an apprenticeship in the construction industry has to offer.
Supporting the competition for the 13th year running will be principal sponsor CARTERS. CARTERS Chief Executive Mike Guy says that CARTERS is honoured to have been a part of launching the careers of skilled apprentices for over a decade.
“Apprentice of the Year reflects CARTERS’ ongoing dedication to supporting New Zealand’s apprentices through investing in training and mentoring. New Zealand’s construction sector is booming and attracting young talent to our industry is key to on-going success. We encourage all young people, both men and women, to be a part of a sector that leaves a tangible legacy for the generations of Kiwis to come.”
2016 winner Callum Bryson, employed by McMillan & Lockwood PN Limited encourages others to enter the competition. “The competition brings together the best carpentry apprentices from all over New Zealand so it was a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself and put everything I had learnt to the test.
“Winning Apprentice of the Year has definitely grown my confidence and opened so many doors for me. I would highly recommend the experience to all apprentices,” he says.
Carpentry apprentices can enter the competition online at www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz, with entries closing on Tuesday 6 June.
The Registered Master Builders CARTERS 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.
*Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment forecast
**Statistics New Zealand
Brad Gemmell qualified as a bricklayer at 21 years of age and hopped on a plane to London, ready to put his skills to the test. He returned to New Zealand a few years later and began his own business, Brad the Brickie Ltd in Wanaka.
Not many employers in the construction sector realise the Government's Fees Free initiative extends to apprenticeships for not one, but two years.