Central North Island region’s top building apprentice announced

2 September 2019

Building apprentice Todd Sutton has been named the Central North Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2019 Apprentice of the Year. The 23-year-old from Marton trained through BCITO and is employed by Richard’s Construction. 

The apprentices were judged on a two-hour practical challenge – where they built a bird box, and their initial entry submission. The top 10 in the region progressed to an interview with the judging panel, which was followed by an onsite visit where contestants discussed their project.

The results were announced at an awards evening on Friday at the Avenue Kingsgate Hotel in Whanganui.

Todd impressed the judges with his strong communication skills and his solid understanding of the building process and safe working practices. 

“Todd stood out with his strong communication skills throughout the competition, in particular during the interview and his project presentation.  He presented himself confidently and was well-prepared. He was able to articulate and demonstrate his knowledge through all facets of the competition. Todd has a solid understanding of the building process and safe working practices.  

We look forward to seeing Todd represent his region and his employer at the Nationals.”

Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 22-year-old James Dowman from Whanganui who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Watson Building. Judges said James is an exceptional young carpenter and has a strong knowledge of the building industry.

Third place was awarded to 26-year-old Corey Evans-Bond from Palmerston North, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by the New Zealand Army. Judges said Corey has excellent knowledge of building processes and presented a high-quality project.

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says, for nearly 15 years the Apprentice of the Year competition has been showcasing and rewarding the country’s best apprentices. 

“Highlighting talent at the Apprentice of the Year competition is a fantastic way to show the growth opportunities within the building industry. These apprentices are our industry’s future leaders.”

The competition not only recognises excellence among building apprentices, it also acknowledges and celebrates the employers that contribute to the industry by investing in apprentices. 

“We need more employers to invest their time, skills, and energy to train their apprentices and meet the growing demand, as we believe that on-the-job training gives apprentices the best opportunity to kickstart their careers. With the construction skills shortage currently facing the building and construction industry, the value of an apprenticeship has never been higher,” David says.

BCITO Chief Executive, Warwick Quinn, says the organisation is proud to be involved with 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 people is critical.

“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.”  

Supporting the competition for 15 years, principal sponsor CARTERS Chief Executive Mike Guy says that CARTERS is honoured to have been a part of showcasing talented apprentices for over a decade. 

“Apprentice of the Year reflects CARTERS’ ongoing dedication to supporting New Zealand’s apprentices by 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 Todd on his success in the regional competition and look forward to seeing all the finalists taking part in the national competition in November.”

Todd will now go on to compete against the winners from the other eight regions at the national CARTERS Apprentice of the Year 2019 competition in Auckland this November.

About the CARTERS Apprentice of the Year 2019:

Each regional winner receives a prize pack that includes $2,000 to spend at CARTERS, a place at an Outward-Bound course (plus travel costs), attendance at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year National Awards Gala Dinner in November, and an apprentice membership with Registered Master Builders Association. 

For the national competition, each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge, held on 8 November in Auckland at the ASB Showgrounds. The event is open to the public. 

The winner of the Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2019 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on 8 November. 

The Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor CARTERS, and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).

For more information, visit www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz