Upper South Island region’s top carpentry apprentice announced

6 Sept 2018

Carpentry apprentice Thomas Ashley has been named the Upper South Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year.

The 26-year-old from Nelson trained through the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and is employed by Tasman Homes Ltd. 

Thomas 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 Thomas showed great insight into all aspects of building.

“Thomas has a very positive attitude towards his work, matched with a high level of skill. He has a good understanding of the construction process and exhibits the thinking, attitude and confidence that will see him excel as a qualified carpenter.

“He is a deserving winner with the skills and potential to go far building industry.”

Thomas 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 Alex Rodger from Westport who is employed by The Natural Construction Company Ltd.

Third place was awarded to 19-year-old Shanon Bettridge from Blenheim, who is employed by George Guthrie Construction Ltd. 

The results were announced at an awards evening on Friday, 7 September 2018 at The Giesen Centre in Blenheim.

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.”
BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn says the organisation is proud to be a part of an event that showcases the talent of the building and construction industry’s future leaders, at a time when they are needed the most. 

“We need thousands more apprentices each year, which means attracting new recruits to the industry is critical. The opportunity to earn while you learn and having the first two years of eligible programmes free of fees makes an apprenticeship an excellent choice for school leavers.

“Apprentice of the Year is a fantastic way to celebrate the talent that exists within the industry. All of this year’s finalists are strong role models for those considering a career in the trades, and we look forward to seeing them put their skills to the test in the national competition.”  

Thomas 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).