Lower North Island region’s top carpentry apprentice announced

24 August 2018

Carpentry apprentice Kyle Tonks has been named the Lower North Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year.

The 22-year-old from Porirua trained through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation and is employed by Tonks Residential Construction Ltd.

Kyle impressed the judges with the skills he had learned from his apprenticeship. This year, apprentices put their skills to the test in the first ever regional practical challenge.

Apprentices were judged on their initial entry submission, with the top 10 in each region progressing to an interview with the judging panel and an onsite visit where contestants discussed their project.

Judges said it was evident from Kyle’s project submission and interview that he had an in-depth knowledge of the building process.

“Kyle has stepped up to lead from the front and is now running the family business. His ability to communicate both in writing and verbally will put him in great stead for his growing development.

“The quality of his work and the scope of understanding of the full arena of building was a pleasure to see. With his drive and skill combined, he has a big future ahead of him in the industry.”

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

Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 26-year-old Sean Reilly from Upper Hutt who is employed by L T McGuinness Ltd.

Third place was awarded to 21-year-old Jordan McLeod from Lower Hutt, who is employed by Kingsbury & Veitch Construction Ltd.

The results were announced at an awards evening on Friday, 24 August 2018 at the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club.

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says that Apprentice of the Year showcases the attractiveness of a career in the trades.

“Apprenticeships offer the chance to earn as you learn and be a part of an industry with strong job prospects and opportunities for growth. With the construction skills shortage currently facing the building and construction industry, the value of an apprenticeship has never been higher,” he says.

“We applaud the commitment and determination from all the apprentices and look forward to seeing their skills at the national competition in November as they make their mark on the industry.”

Supporting the competition for the 14th year running is principal sponsor CARTERS. CARTERS Chief Executive Mike Guy says that CARTERS is honoured to have been a part of launching the careers of talented 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 vital to on-going success,” he says.

We congratulate Kyle on his success in the regional competition and look forward to seeing all the finalists taking part in the national competition in November.”

Kyle will now compete against the winners from the other nine regions at the National competition in Auckland this November.

Each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge, the product of which will be donated to a local charity.

The practical challenge is held on 9 November at the ASB Showgrounds and will be open to the public. The competition is taking place alongside the Auckland Build Expo, which will bring together industry professionals and leaders from across the construction sector.

The winner of the Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on 9 November.

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/registeredmasterbuilders For more information, visit www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz.

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 sponsor the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).