Lower North Island region’s top building apprentice announced

25 August 2020

Building apprentice Karl Douglas has been named the Lower North Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2020 Apprentice of the Year. The 27-year-old from Wellington was trained through BCITO and is employed by Makers Fabrication. 

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 Friday 21 August at Boulcott's Farm Heritage Golf Club.

Karl impressed the judges with his knowledge and professionalism throughout the competition. 

“Karl displayed a strong understanding of the project and what was required. This was illustrated by his clear attention to detail throughout the practical challenge.”

“Karl interviewed well, coming across as someone who could effectively run a house build. He demonstrated a wide skillset, explaining how he uses his draughting diploma to understand plans across a variety of jobs.

He is someone who can comfortably work with technology, effectively using devices such as an iPad for both drawings and specs.”

Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 26-year-old Matthew Beneka from Wellington, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Scotty’s Construction. Judges said Matt’s passion and attention to detail made him stand out from his peers.

“Matt proved to be a very capable apprentice throughout his project, exhibiting a strong understanding of the task at hand. This was clear with Matt’s incredible craftmanship and the great attention put into the finishing details.

He displayed strong competency in his interview, supported through his good understanding of technology and the build process.”

Third place was awarded to 21-year-old Jacob Brenssell from Wellington, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Maycroft Construction.

“Jacob did an exceptional job on his project” said the judges. “He had a good knowledge of all the safety onsite requirements.”

Although it was an ambitious project, Jacob did not shy away. Judges were impressed with his exceptional understanding of all aspects of the task at hand.

It’s clear to the judges that Jacob is a very capable apprentice. In his interview he presented himself as someone who is keen to take on more responsibility on the building site, helping him continue to stand above the rest in his field.”

Karl 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 Place: Karl Douglas employed by Makers Fabrication

2nd Place: Matthew Beneka employed by Scotty's Construction

3rd Place: Jacob Brenssell employed by Maycroft Construction

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 www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz.