Palmerston North carpentry apprentice wins national award!

Callum Bryson from Palmerston North has been named the country’s top carpentry apprentice,taking out the title of Registered Master Builders Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year at this year’s national competition.

Earlier today, the ten national finalists had the opportunity to show off their skills during a practical challenge, where they were put to the test building a children’s playhouse to be donated to a local school. Callum’s playhouse impressed the judges enough to take out the top prize, and will be donated to Kelston Primary School. 

Callum, 24, is employed by McMillan & Lockwood PN Limited and trained through BCITO. 

Wade Puklowski, a 23-year-old from Nelson, was awarded second place in the competition. He is employed by Coman Construction and trained through the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT). 

Third place was awarded to Ryan Tesselaar, a 21-year-old from Morrinsville. He is employed by Foster Construction and trained through BCITO.The national judges said Callum is a deserving winner, passionate, with an outstanding breadth of knowledge across the sector. 

“Callum is a strong all-rounder, achieving excellent results at every stage – the written submission, interview and practical challenge,” they said.

“While modest and humble, he has proven himself as a very capable leader, with a fantastic career ahead of him.”

The two-day national competition saw each of the ten finalists undergo a 45 minute individual interview with the judging panel, followed by the challenging practical component which was viewed by family, friends and the general public.

The gala awards evening was held at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront and was hosted by Sam Wallace. 

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says it was fantastic to see the level of talent and skill across the young apprentices, who will be essential in supporting the growth of New Zealand’s construction industry.

“These apprentices are joining a growing industry. Construction is New Zealand’s fifth- largest sector by employment, yet we are facing a skills shortage. Now really is the ideal time to join the trades.”

“Apprentice of the Year is a great opportunity to recognise our most talented apprentices and the excellent workmanship they bring to the industry. These are our future leaders, who will support and grow New Zealand’s construction industry to ensure a better built New Zealand.” 

CARTERS National Sales Manager Rob Watson says that CARTERS are proud to continue supporting the recognition of emerging talent in the industry.

“Carters are dedicated to the continued training and mentoring of apprentices to ensure the future success and growth of the construction and building industry. It is great to see the young talent that already exists within the trade.”

“Congratulations to Callum and all the other finalists in the competition. Competing as a finalist in this competition is a fantastic achievement and the passion and workmanship displayed throughout the competition was thoroughly impressive. 

CARTERS are looking forward to constructing lasting partnerships with these apprentices and look forward to assisting with their future growth within the industry.” 

View the timelapse video of the practical building part of the event here


Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the Facebook page: or follow us on Twitter: @MasterBuilderNZ.

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.