The 2022 Apprentice of the Year Winner is..

16 November 2022

Proudly winning the title of New Zealand’s 2022 Apprentice of the Year,  Dane Schnell, 23, is from the Auckland Region and is currently employed by Coastal Concepts. He completed his training through BCITO, a business division of Te Pūkenga. The National event took place in Auckland on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Every year the competition is a chance for the industry to recognise the important role that a strong pipeline of talent plays. Apprentice of the Year celebrates developing talent and showcases the opportunities available to carpentry apprentices. 

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive, David Kelly was impressed with the group’s talent and their commitment to being the best in their field, especially during our current environment.

“Learning new skills and applying oneself is challenging at the best of times but doing so under the conditions of the past two years is a testament to their dedication and commitment.”

“Leadership in our industry matters. We look at our up-and-coming apprentices and asses their aspirations to see how we can provide fulfilling career pathways, within the sector,” says our CE David Kelly.

Congratulations Dane, and thanks to all those across the country who make this event a success every year. 


“Dane is a well-rounded and ambitious apprentice. He excels both on the tools and on the field – representing Birkenhead in the National Football League. Dane has clear plans for his future and knows what he needs to do in order to get there. 

“His practical challenge was very impressive. Despite a turbulent start he was the first one to finish the rocket ship, completing it to an extremely high standard. The same could be said for the other areas of the competition. He excelled in his interview, answering technical questions very competently. 

“Well done, Dane. The standard amongst our national finalists this year was very high, you have done an excellent job in taking out first place. We look forward to watching your future closely,” said the judging panel.   

Runner-up went to Paulo Oliveira, 29 from the Northern Region, employed by TP Builders. Chris Foy, 21 from the Waikato region, employed by Urban Homes being awarded third place.  Both are also completing their training through BCITO, a business division of Te Pūkenga.


“Both of these apprentices were very strong contenders. Paulo only arrived in New Zealand five years ago with no English, he communicated effectively throughout the competition, and he has done exceptionally well to get where he is today.

Chris was the youngest competitor in this year’s competition at 21 years old. However, that didn’t  stop him, taking out a well-deserved third place,”  said competition judges. 

A huge congratulations to all eight national finalists who proudly represented their respective regions. Each had to compete against more than 100 other apprentices in their local competitions which is a significant achievement. 

This year’s practical component challenged the apprentices to each create a rocket ship to donate to early learning centres through Evolve Education Group.   


Our sponsors stand behind apprentices and the industry

Apprentice of the Year would not be possible without our national sponsor family. The loyalty of our sponsors and their investment in the competition and our industry is fantastic and hugely appreciated.
“CARTERS remains committed to supporting apprentices from across the country as they build their future in the construction industry. Partnering with the competition is a great way to celebrate emerging talent and our future industry leaders.”  

-       CARTERS CEO, Mike Guy  

“It is great to see so much support for both apprentices and their employers in the competition this year. It is a wonderful opportunity to see our sector come together and celebrate the upcoming talent and the industry’s future leaders. Apprentices coming through our trades training programme are our lifeblood and it is fantastic to see so many showcasing their craftsmanship and skill. We congratulate all national finalists for their outstanding achievements" 

-     BCITO Director, Jason Hungerford  


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