Upper South Island region’s top building apprentice announced

6 September 2019

Building apprentice Jay Pope has been named the Upper South Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2019 Apprentice of the Year. The 29-year-old from Nelson trained through BCITO and is employed by Mudgway 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 Pic's Peanut Butter Factory in Nelson.

Jay impressed the judges with his strong leadership and high attention to detail. 

“Jay demonstrated throughout the competition that he is a strong leader and enjoys solving problems. He is an outstanding all-round builder, who has high attention to detail. Jay clearly spent a lot of time on his project submission, he interviewed very well, and was very helpful on site. 

“Jay is a huge asset to the construction industry and will have a bright future ahead of him. He and his employer should be very proud.” 

Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 24-year-old Abraham Rood from Blenheim, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Ken Anderson Building Ltd. Judges said Abraham was very well organised and honest, and he will go far in the building industry.

Third place was awarded to 23-year-old Daniel Small from Blenheim, who was trained by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and is employed by Scott’s Construction Marlborough. Judges said Daniel’s understanding of the building code was a standout and displayed strong workmanship.

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

Jay 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