Search is on for NZ’s top carpentry apprentice

Carpentry apprentices from across New Zealand are being called to show off their skills and compete for the coveted title of Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year. 

The competition comes at a crucial time as New Zealand’s building boom continues. With the carpentry workforce expected to grow by more than 17,000 workers by 2020 (21%), there has never been a better time to build a career in the trades.

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says Apprentice of the Year supports the industry by showcasing the skills of its future leaders.

“Apprentice of the Year is the leading apprentice competition for the building and construction sector. Taking part in the competition is a fantastic way for apprentices to establish their careers in the industry. The competition participants go on to become our future leaders and we want to encourage all ambitious apprentices to take part.

“Apprenticeships provide fantastic careers opportunities – not only do you earn as you learn, but you are also part of an industry with strong job prospects and opportunities for growth. The Apprentice of the Year competition helps young apprentices as they begin their careers and also recognises the employers who invest in young talent.

“Developing and training our workforce is a crucial part of ensuring we meet our industry’s growing needs. By investing in apprentices, employers are not only providing apprentices with career opportunities but are future-proofing their businesses and the construction industry.”

Entries are open for all eligible carpentry apprentices on Monday 9 April, and apprentices can be in the running to win a share of more than $100,000 in prizes, as well as the sought-after title of Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year. 

This year, Registered Master Builders have introduced a practical challenge at the regional competition, with apprentices also being judged on their initial entry submission. The top 10 in each region will then progress to an interview with the judging panel and an onsite visit where contestants will discuss their project. 

The regional winners will then go on to compete at the Apprentice of the Year national competition in Auckland in November. 

Registered Master Builders have also introduced an award for employers who have had an apprentice win three regional titles. This celebrates the employers who are investing in apprentices and giving back to the industry. 

2017 Apprentice of the Year, Vincent Hubbard, employed by Urban Homes, encourages others to enter the competition to see how their skills measure up against other apprentices in the industry.
“The competition gave me the opportunity to really challenge myself and made me a better apprentice by putting me to the test and motivating me to work and study harder,” he says. 

Supporting the competition for the 14th year running will be principal sponsor CARTERS. CARTERS Chief Executive Mike Guy says that CARTERS is honoured to have been a part of launching the careers of skilled apprentices for over a decade.
“Apprentice of the Year reflects CARTERS’ dedication to supporting New Zealand’s apprentices through investing in training and mentoring. Attracting young talent to our industry is essential to the success of New Zealand’s booming construction sector,” he says.
“We encourage all young people, both men and women, to be a part of a sector that leaves a tangible legacy for the generations of Kiwis to come.”

Carpentry apprentices can enter the competition online at, with entries closing on Monday 4 June.

The Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor CARTERS, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsor the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

*Statistics from the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)