Southern region’s top carpentry apprentice announced!

Carpentry apprentice Josh Atkins has been named the Southern Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2017 Apprentice of the Year.

The 25-year-old from Queenstown trained through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) and is employed by Bayshore Builders. 

Judges were impressed with Josh’s in-depth and detailed knowledge of the building industry.  

“Josh’s attitude to keep learning all he can, including sustainable and eco building and alternative methods of construction is a big positive for the industry,” they said.

“He communicates well with his employer, fellow workers, sub-contractors and clients.  Josh’s very high standard of workmanship and his drive to be the best was displayed at all levels of the process and he is deserving of first place.”

Josh was awarded a range of fantastic products and tools, $2,000 to spend at CARTERS, and a spot at an Outward Bound Course. 

Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 19-year-old Boyd Van Leeuwen from Queenstown, who is employed by Trinity QT Construction.

Third place was awarded to 20-year-old Brock Vuleta from Wanaka, who is employed by Breen Construction.

The results were announced at an awards evening on 8 September at the Heartland Croydon Lodge Hotel in Gore.

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says the competition highlights the importance of apprenticeships as part of the wider need for industry-wide transformation during New Zealand’s biggest ever building boom. 

“Developing and training our workforce is a crucial part of ensuring we meet our industry’s growing needs. Apprenticeships play an important role in ensuring the industry can build through the troughs and mitigate skills shortages, which are currently facing the building and construction industry,” he said.

“We applaud the commitment and determination from all the apprentices, and look forward to seeing their skills at the national competition in November as they make their mark on the industry.”

BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn says the organisation is proud to be a part of an event that showcases the talent of the building and construction industry’s future leaders, at a time when they are needed the most. 

“New Zealand’s construction and building sector desperately needs more recruits. Forecasts for the next few years provide confidence for people considering a career in the construction industry and for business owners thinking about expanding their business and taking on more staff.”

“Apprentice of the Year is a fantastic way to celebrate the talent that exists within the industry. All of this year’s finalists are strong role models for those considering a career in the trades, and we look forward to seeing them put their skills to the test in the national competition.”  

Josh will now compete against the winners from the other nine regions at the National competition in Auckland this November.

Each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge, the product of which will be donated to a local charity. 

The practical challenge is held on 3 November at the ASB Showgrounds and will be open to the public. This year the competition is taking place alongside the Auckland Build Expo, which will bring together industry professionals and leaders from across the construction sector.

The winner of the Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2017 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on 3 November. 

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the Facebook page at  
For more information, visit 

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