“It was really cool to meet all the other apprentices and the judges. I’d definitely recommend Apprentice of the Year to other builders,” he says.
“You get really well looked after, and people notice that you have put yourself out there in the competition.”
Bryce was encouraged to enter the competition by his bosses at Fletcher Construction, who aim to enter a couple of apprentices every year.
“My bosses were encouraging me to put my name forward, but I was heading over to Europe at the exact same time as the submission. Fortunately, I was able to do an early submission, and came home just a few days before the regional event,” he says.
Bryce knew he wanted to become a builder from a young age, crediting his father and his desire to work in a hands-on job.
“My dad is also a builder and he built our house around us, so seeing that was pretty cool when I was younger. I studied workshop and graphics at school, and figured that I wanted to have a job where I could work outside, and not be stuck behind a desk.”
Bryce says building is a great trade to get into, and he definitely recommends it to other students who are thinking about what to do after school.
“Nothing beats working outside in the sun with your mates all day. It’s a really enjoyable job and, in my opinion, it’s the best trade to get into.
“There’s always going to be a big demand for builders — it’s a growing industry,” he says.
The judges were impressed with Bryce, and said he achieved consistently high marks across all disciplines in the competition — his submission, the interview and the practical challenge.
“He is passionate about his company and about building, and this came through throughout the competition. He has a great future ahead of him,” they said.
Bryce is moving over to work with a residential building company in Sydney, and credits the Apprentice of the Year competition and the exposure it gave him.
“I wasn’t actually looking at going to Sydney, so it’s pretty exciting! My mate was telling his brother, who has a construction company over there, how well I did in the competition and that I got third in New Zealand.
“His brother then offered me the job so I was pretty stoked. I just jumped at the opportunity.”
Bryce credits the Registered Master Builders Association for expanding his knowledge of the building industry.
“The RMBA has magazines, newsletters and a lot of things that come out that keep you up to date with the whole building industry. They are really helpful — you constantly receive information from them which is great.”
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/apprenticeoftheyear, or follow us on Twitter: @AOY_NZ.
For more information, visit www.apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz.
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 sponsors the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and APL through its Altherm, First and Vantage brands.