With entries now open for the Registered Master Builders Carters 2012 Apprentice of the Year, we caught up with three of last year’s national finalists and asked them about their experiences in the competition, and what they got out of it.
What was the most enjoyable part of the competition?
TE: Definitely all the social functions we got to attend throughout the competition, and meeting people from all areas of the construction industry.
AH: Meeting people, most of them becoming friends, and also gaining contacts throughout the industry.
JS: There were so many enjoyable parts. One of the best aspects for me was pushing myself towards self-excellence, striving to be the best building apprentice within New Zealand, along with meeting new, like-minded apprentices from all around the country. Also the Mana and respect you receive from fellow workmates, family and friends.
What part was the most challenging?
TE: The interviews. The judges really know what they’re looking for, and they know how to find it.
AH: Being interviewed, and going through the whole process of the competition. But in the end, it pays off.
JS: The most challenging part was getting started, and having the confidence to stand up among your peers and believe that you have the qualities to be the Apprentice of the Year
What is the best prize in the prize pack?
TE: It would have to be the Outward Bound course. It should be a good couple of weeks.
AH: Outward Bound.
JS: There were so many handouts and giveaways, but the best prize was the $2000 Carters voucher. I was able to complete my tool kit with a number of new power tools.
Did you make any really good friends?
TE: For sure. I keep in touch with a few of the boys every now and again. I’m also now working in the same company as Andrew Hamilton in Christchurch.
AH: Yes, mostly with Tom Evans and Tom Storey (from Bay of Plenty). Tom Evans now works for the same company down here in Christchurch, which I helped him organise. We see each other most days, which is good.
JS: I made a number of new friends. As we all had a common interest, it was very easy to get along and we always had something to talk about. I look forward to the Outward Bound course we’re attending toward the end of this year, where I’m sure the friendships will grow stronger yet again.
What did you think about the whole experience?
TE: The national event as a whole for me was an experience of a lifetime.
AH: I had a lot of fun. It was a great experience to be involved in.
JS: I think the competition at a national level was amazing! It was fantastically run, where apprentices were tested and judged in all areas, from hands-on skills to the theory and practice behind the trade.
Do you think the competition had a good influence on your attitude to your career?
TE: Yeah, 100%. I can’t see myself in any other career path. Building is challenging, rewarding and very progressive if you’re willing to work hard.
AH: It definitely made me want to succeed more.
JS: I felt myself grow more as a person and a carpenter. I had a much better understanding of the trade and the practical skills involved. After proving myself by winning the Northern event, I was then given higher duties at work with more responsibility.
Entries for the Apprentice of the Year are open until June 28, 2012. For further info, or to download an entry form, go to www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz. Entry forms can also be collected from Carters stores nationwide.
Apprentices, employers and those young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join up to the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/apprenticeoftheyear.
The Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor Carters, the Registered Master Builders Federation, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsor the Department of Building and Housing.