Central South Island’s top building apprentice announced

22 August 2019

Building apprentice Mark Smith has been named the Central South Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2019 Apprentice of the Year. The 29-year-old from Christchurch trained through the Building and Construction Training Organisation (BCITO) and is employed by Premium Homes. 

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 Thursday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Mark impressed the judges throughout the competition, scoring high marks across all four judging categories. 

“Mark showed that he was a serious contender, scoring high marks across all four judging categories. Throughout the competition, he showed a strong attention to detail with an in-depth understanding of building materials, industry requirements and legislation. 

“His excellent communication skills, diligence, and positive approach will see him become a respected future leader in the construction industry.”

Second place was awarded to 24-year-old Liam Brewer from Motokarara, who is employed by Simon Construction Limited. Judges were particularly impressed with Liam’s calm attitude and his communication skills.

Third place went to female building apprentice Tamsyn Settle, a 25-year-old from Christchurch, who works at Leighs Construction. She is one of two females who entered this year’s competition. 

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.

“It is also great to see women entering and doing well in the competition, and the trades. We hope this will encourage more females to pursue a building career. Our industry needs more diversity, as currently less than three per cent of the building and construction industry are female.” 

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. 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 it’s been fantastic to see the development of thousands of young talented apprentices throughout the years, and to see them go on to have successful careers within the building industry.  

“Our longstanding partnership with Apprentice of the Year reflects our commitment to supporting this growth and ensuring we are providing apprentices with the tools, mentoring and training they need to succeed.

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

Mark Smith 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. This 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