Winning apprentice has design and build ambitions


The recent graduate decided to gain practical building experience through an apprenticeship to use alongside his architecture degree. Winning the regional award has seen the many years of training and study pay off.

“A lot of the older guys thought I was just a ‘little architect’. he laughs. “Once I talked them around, got into the trade and showed that I’m actually keen to learn, things took off really quickly.”

“A lot of people see architecture and building as quite different trades. The opportunity to prove to them that you can be a good architect as well as a good builder really encouraged me to compete.”

David impressed judges, who say he is a confident apprentice who displayed an in-depth knowledge of the building industry.

“At David’s site visit his high standards of leadership and passion for his project were clear. His assured manner and obvious skills are a credit to him — David has what it takes to become a true building professional,” they said.

David says he found the awards really beneficial.

“I gained a lot of confidence and experience talking to people higher up in the industry. It was awesome to be part of a bunch of like-minded young fellas all doing the same thing, and heading in the same direction. We’re the next industry leaders and so it’s great to get in touch with them.”

David says the most challenging part of the competition was the practical component, and the time pressure involved.

“The time management was really challenging — making sure you’re getting enough done, and also keeping the quality high,” he says.

“You have to ask yourself, do I get it all done fast and complete it, or do I take longer but do it well. It’s a big compromise and decision — probably the biggest hurdle I struggled with.”

David’s plans in the future involve getting back into architecture and then owning his own business which involves a design and build combination.
Entries are currently open for 2015 Apprentice of the Year. Carpentry apprentices can enter the competition online at, with entries closing on Thursday, June 11.

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

For more information, visit

Owned by the Registered Master Builders Association, the Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor Carters, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsor the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).