Upper South Island region’s top carpentry apprentice announced

Carpentry apprentice Wade Puklowski has been named the Upper South Island Registered Master Builders Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year.

The 23 year-old from Nelson trained through the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and is employed by Coman Construction.

Judges were impressed with Wade’s high level of maturity, his industry knowledge and his awareness of all aspects of his construction project.

“Wade has a fantastic understanding of the building industry and demonstrated he can identify and manage issues on his project.

“His passion for building was exemplified at both his interview and site visit. He has a remarkable curiosity which has helped him understand and be able to explain complicated building processes.

“His employer said Wade is developing into a very competent tradesperson and now taking full responsibility and ownership of projects.

“Wade has set out some exceptional goals for his future. His passion and drive will take him far in the industry.”

Wade 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 22 year-old Luke Campbell Senkeldam from Nelson, who is employed by J Lewis Building Limited.

Third place was awarded to 24 year-old Anthony Cotton-Rees, also from Nelson, and employed by Scott Construction.

The results were announced at an awards evening on 9 September at The Giesen Centre in Renwick.

Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says the competition not only celebrates the quality of New Zealand’s carpentry apprentices, but also helps to promote the opportunities that an apprenticeship in the trades has to offer.

“The construction industry is going through an unprecedented period of growth. We need more people to join the trades across all levels. The Apprentice of the Year competition is a fantastic way to showcase our future industry leaders.

“We applaud the commitment and determination from all the apprentices, and we look forward to seeing even more from the finalists at the National competition in November.”

BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn says the organisation is proud to support an event that showcases the high calibre of apprentices at a time when the industry needs them most.

“It has been fantastic to see the high level of skill displayed by all the apprentices. They have shown remarkable ability and passion for their craft, and are paving the way for more apprentices to follow,” he said.

“We are excited to see this continue into the National competition and wish all the finalists luck as they make their mark in the building and construction industry.”

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

Each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge where each apprentice will be tasked with building a play house to be donated to local schools. The practical challenge will take place at The Cloud on 4 November and will be open to the public.

The winner of the Registered Master Builders Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on 4 November.

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/registeredmasterbuilders/. For more information, visit www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz.

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.