The Waikato Apprentice of the Year Regional Winner is..🛠️

4 August 2023

The top three Apprentices from the Waikato region have been announced for the 2023 Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year.

The Apprentice of the Year competition recognises excellence among carpentry apprentices and raises awareness of career opportunities in the building and construction industry. The competition tests our future sector leaders' project management, business, presentation, and practical skills. 

For the regional competition, each apprentice had to initially submit a building project. They then took part in a two-hour practical challenge where they were tasked with building a step stool. The top 10 from each region then progressed to the interview stage with a judging panel and an onsite visit to discuss their project. 

Jess Nielsen from Taumarunui has been named the Waikato 2023 Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year. Jess, 21, was trained through BCITO, a business division of Te Pūkenga, and is employed by Sloan Annand Builders.  

Judges said "Jess showed great focus and technique with her tools. She is very accurate in her work, shows excellent competency and her project was finished to an extremely high standard.

At her site visit, Jess proved she was a well-rounded apprentice with a clear passion for the trades and a drive to perform. Jess is an impressive apprentice."

Second place went to Mac Livingstone, 22. His training provider is BCITO | Te Pūkenga and he's employed by Livingstone Building.

At the regional practical competition, Mac presented himself well. He worked in an orderly manner with a tidy workspace and project. He is a well-respected apprentice, with a strong work ethic.   

First to the site every day to open it up for everyone, Mac has excellent organisational skills. This is imperative as he oversees four other apprentices. While taking on this responsibility, Mac maintains a relaxed attitude. He also demonstrated a good and detailed understanding of his project and wider building skills. Well done, Mac!   

Third place went to Luka de Hertog, 22. His training provider is BCITO | Te Pūkenga and he is employed by Grant Stewart Building.

"Luka’s positive attitude was clear throughout the practical challenge. He was well-presented and had a very high standard of tools, particularly his sharp chisels and block plane, which he sharpened himself. First to start assembling the project, Luka showed an excellent array of building skills.   

Throughout the site visit, it was clear every detail had been thought out and analysed before construction, making Luka’s attention to detail second to none. He has a  real enthusiasm for building. "

National Competition
The top apprentice from each region will then go on to compete in the National Competition in Auckland. This includes a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel and an additional six-hour practical skills test, followed by the National Awards Dinner where we will announce the winner. 

The National Practical will be co-located at CONZTRUCT Auckland North on Thursday 9th November 2023 at Eventfinda Stadium.

CONZTRUCT is New Zealand's largest travelling construction trade show and attracts thousands of builders, architects, designers, and other trade professionals at its 16 annual events nationwide. Each event covers the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, and the exhibition includes showcasing a diverse range of products and services from the industry’s brand leaders.  
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