Isaac Alder: Destined to win

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Isaac Alder was destined for carpentry success, from a six-year-old hammering nails on his own workbench to the Registered Master Builders 2010 Apprentice of the Year, in association with Carters.

On October 21 at The Boatshed, Wellington, Isaac accepted the coveted award of the 2010 Apprentice of the Year, along with the Hank Lieshout Trophy, after a lengthy interview process and a day of practical competition alongside nine other national finalists.
Now 23 years old and working in Nelson for Russell Bruce Contract Builders, Isaac always knew that carpentry would be his chosen career choice.
“Ever since a young age I’ve been interested in carpentry. I’ve always been a practical, hands-on person,” Isaac says. 
“I took out the Carters woodwork prize at high school every year,” he says.

When asked why he entered the Apprentice of the Year competition, he said he had his BCITO training advisor to thank.
“Stephen Needham is the reason I entered. He approached me on site and said, ‘I think you should give this a go.’ Without him, I wouldn’t have been in this competition,” he says.
Isaac rates the Apprentice of the Year experience highly. “The practical aspect of the competition was really important — it’s one thing to talk the talk, but performing under pressure really made the competition for me. The group of guys made it what it was. They’re a good bunch of guys and I hope to catch up with them again soon.”
Isaac says the competition has provided a good base for his career.

“There are expectations for me to really do something now, to step outside of my comfort zone. I want to use my skills to help people, like being a part of Habitat for Humanity, or even just going in after a natural disaster and helping to rebuild. After that, I want to own a carpentry business that is respected in Nelson.”
The visual progress is Isaac’s favourite aspect of building. “It’s satisfying when at the end of the day you can look back and see what you’ve done.”
He agrees that building is a good trade to get into, and encourages young guys to get involved.

“People are always going to need things built for them. It’s important to remember that as you build skills it becomes more enjoyable. If you’ve got determination and a good work ethic, the sky’s the limit.”
Along with the title, Isaac will be enjoying his collection of prizes, including a trip for two to an Australasian trade show and a Carters Development Grant to the value of $5000.
“My partner Katie is most excited about the travel, but for me it’s definitely the study grant. That’s really going to help me develop my skills.”

Isaac also received a Wholesafe Health & Safety Gear pack, a full set of compliance documents and standards from DBH, Easy Access Co Mini Mobile scaffolding, a Paslode Impulse nail gun, and travel and accommodation for two to attend the Registered Master Builders House of the Year national awards gala dinner in Auckland as guests of the Federation.
Isaac is also looking forward to experiencing Outward Bound along with his nine fellow finalists, awarded to him as part of the regional prize package.