The ten national finalists took to their tools for a six-hour practical challenge in Auckland on Friday, 3 November where they were tasked with building ‘puppy palaces’ which will be donated to the SPCA. Vincent’s puppy palace impressed the judges enough to take out the top prize, and he was crowned the 2017 Apprentice of the Year.
Vincent, 24, is employed by Urban Homes and was trained through BCITO.
Second place was awarded to Jack Clifford, 24 from Napier, who is employed by Christie Builders and Joiners and trained through BCITO. Third place was awarded to Logan Alderson, 20 from Manurewa, who is employed by CS Building and trained through BCITO.
Judges were impressed with Vincent’s all-round knowledge of the industry and excellence in all competencies.
“Vincent had a very solid submission and spoke well about his project in the interview. His passion for his project and the industry really shone through,” they said.
“He had a calm temperament throughout the entire competition and handled the pressure extremely well. This was evident in being the only apprentice to complete the puppy palace on time.
“His puppy palace was completed to a very high standard of craftsmanship – a worthy winner of the 2017 Apprentice of the Year.”
The two-day national competition saw each of the ten finalists undergo a 45-minute individual interview with the judging panel. This was followed by the challenging practical component, the puppy palace build, which took place in front of an audience of family, friends and the general public at the ASB Showgrounds.
The gala awards, hosted by Mike Puru, were held later that evening. Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says it was fantastic to see the level of talent and skill across the young apprentices, and the support of their employers who are essential in supporting the growth of New Zealand’s construction industry.
“Both apprentices and employers have a fundamental role to play in ensuring we meet the growing demands on the industry. With one in 10 business enterprises in New Zealand in the construction sector, employers can provide apprentices with sustainable career options within a growing industry.
“Apprentice of the Year is a great opportunity to recognise our most talented apprentices and celebrate their employers who are supporting and growing New Zealand’s construction industry.”
Supporting the competition for the 13th year running is principal sponsor CARTERS. CARTERS Chief Executive Mike Guy says that CARTERS are 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. Attracting young talent to our industry is key to its on-going success,” he said.
“We congratulate Vincent on his win and look forward to seeing all the finalists launch their careers and make their mark on the industry.”
Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the BCITO Facebook page.
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.
National finalists: Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2017 Apprentice of the Year - all trained through BCITO.
Seth Foote, 26 from Warkworth, employed by Brackenridge Builders
Logan Alderson, 20 from Manurewa, employed by CS Building
Matthew Abbott, 22 from Tauranga, employed by Calley Homes
Vincent Hubbard, 24 from Hamilton, employed by Urban Homes
Jack Clifford, 24 from Napier, employed by Christie Builders and Joiners
Atigiapa Meyrick, 23 from Palmerston North, employed by Isles Construction
Jamie Gaskin, 22 from Lower Hutt, employed by Black Sheep Construction
Olivia Ward, 22 from Seddon, employed by Hunt Construction
Samuel Faid, 20 from Christchurch, employed by Jina Andrews Construction Limited
Josh Atkins, 25 from Queenstown, employed by Bayshore Builders
Find out more about RMB Carters Apprentice of the Year
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.