Bay of Plenty/Central Plateau region’s top building apprentice announced

26 September 2020

Building apprentice Matthew Van Bohemen has been named the Bay of Plenty/Central Plateau Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2020 Apprentice of the Year. The 23-year-old from Taupo was trained through BCITO and is employed by Beck Building. 

The apprentices were judged on a two-hour practical challenge – where they built a tool 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 Saturday 26 September at Club Mount.

“Matthew has a positive attitude and truly understands the benefits of ‘teamwork’.” Said the judges.

They were very impressed with the feedback from Matthew’s employers, the standard of work in the practical challenge and his answers during his interview. 

“Matthew demonstrated dedication, maturity and ambition that is commendable and highly valued in our industry.” 

Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 30-year-old Kahn Harris Ellis from Te Puna, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by AHS Construction. 

“Kahn excelled in every stage of this competition. His build was beautiful and demonstrated a very high standard of execution. And his ability to explain concepts and knowledge of regulations and the building code was exceptional. Kahn is a cool, calm, and collected operator.”

Third place was awarded to 23-year-old Luke Brett Kelly from Tauranga, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Calley Homes.

The judges were very impressed with the level of skill and responsibility evident during Luke’s site visit and the knowledge demonstrated during his interview. “Luke is focused on delivering quality to his customers and leads by example. It’s clear that there is a bright future ahead of him in his career.”
Matthew will now go on to compete against the winners from the other eight regions at the national CARTERS Apprentice of the Year 2020 competition in Auckland this November.

1st Matthew Van Bohemen

2nd Kahn Harris Ellis

3rd Luke Brett Kelly

About the Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year 2020:
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), 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 7 November in Auckland at the ASB Showgrounds. The event is open to the public. 

The winner of the Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2020 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on 7 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