Registered Master Builders Carters 2011 Apprentice of the Year Ryan Keogh, 22, says deciding to become a Licensed Building Practitioner was a no-brainer.
“The day I got qualified, back in October 2011, I sent my application through to be a Licensed Building Practitioner. It’s about supporting building excellence,” Mr Keogh says.
Now a junior foreman with Naylor Love in Dunedin, Mr Keogh says the company also supports the scheme and is active in helping staff through the process.
He says the size of the construction industry means there are some who are not yet on board with the scheme, but expects this to change rapidly — particularly as March 1 heralds the introduction of new rules by the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) which will require certain works to be carried out by, or supervised by, licensed practitioners.
“Change can be hard for some people to deal with, but at the end of the day it’s change for the better.
“Everyone’s different, but the numbers are getting up with the scheme, and with the introduction of restricted building work it’s becoming a mandatory thing. It’s similar to how some tasks in the finance world require you to be a Chartered Accountant.”
While the process of becoming licensed helps to educate builders on industry best practices, consent process and so forth, it also adds a new layer of accountability.
“I think this is a good thing, especially if we can eliminate some of the industry’s past problems such as the $12 billion or so of leaky home damage we’re now fixing,” Mr Keogh says.
“With all the remedial work coming up following the Canterbury earthquakes, any scheme which makes sure it’s done correctly first time around is a good thing.”
Currently the licensing scheme is targeting builders, but Mr Keogh expects it won’t take long for customer awareness to grow, at which point it becomes a very simple choice for anyone planning a construction project.
“From a customer’s point of view, why would you not want to have a Licensed Building Practitioner?”
Once not being licensed begins to have a direct impact on your ability to earn a living, Mr Keogh expects any stragglers will soon get on board. For those wanting to sign up, he says it couldn’t be simpler.
“Organisations such as Carters put together evenings where you can go along and they’ll provide a Justice of the Peace to sign your forms, someone to take passport photos and people to help organise the paperwork. It definitely streamlines the process.”
Registered Master Builders has an easy-to-use online application form available to members via the members web site or, alternatively, you can phone the DBH on 0800 60 60 50 and get an application form and information on the scheme.
The Apprentice of the Year competition is owned and managed by the Registered Master Builders Federation (RMBF), sponsored by Carters, partnered by the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) and supported by the Department of Building and Housing.
Apprentices, employers and those young people aspiring to be part of the construction industry are encouraged to join up to the Apprentice of the Year Facebook page at www.facebook.com/apprenticeoftheyear.
Or for more information go towww.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz.