Search begins for NZ’s top carpentry apprentice


Carpentry apprentices from around the country are being called to show off their talent and passion for the trades by competing in the Registered Master Builders Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year.

Entries for the competition are now open, and apprentices can be in to win a share of more than $100,000 in prizes, as well as the sought-after title of 2016 Apprentice of the Year.

Registered Master Builders chief executive David Kelly looks forward to seeing the talent at this year’s competition, and explains that with the significant demand for building apprentices, he hopes the competition raises the profile around the value of an apprenticeship.

“We are experiencing a real shortage of builders right now, with the industry calling out for more apprentices. The demand for new houses is forecast to be more than 28,000 in 2017 alone, but the current labour market can only support 15,000.*

“Apprentice of the Year has a strong presence in our industry. It is all about recognising quality — the key requirement for every new build or renovation carried out in New Zealand. 

“For the apprentices, the competition is a great way to launch their careers. They get to showcase their skills, challenge themselves, and meet others in the construction community. Competing sends a strong message to the industry, that you are one of the best,” he says.

Entries for Apprentice of the Year have been steadily increasing each year, with last year’s competition seeing 145 apprentices compete for the coveted title.

2015 winner Shaun Campbell says entering the competition is a great way to make your mark in the construction industry.

“Apprentice of the Year was an opportunity to prove myself to my peers and the community. It was challenging at times, but definitely rewarding,” he says.

Supporting the competition for the 12th year running will be principal sponsor Carters. National sales manager Rob Watson says the competition holds an important place in upholding the reputation of New Zealand’s building industry.

“Apprentice of the Year is a fundamental element of Carters’ investment in partnering with and ensuring that New Zealand’s apprentices are highly skilled, mentored and educated.

“The competition is a fantastic opportunity for apprentices to get their name out there and gain recognition within the industry,” he says.

Carpentry apprentices can enter the competition online at, with entries closing on Thursday, June 9.

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be part of the construction industry are also encouraged to join the Facebook page:

The Registered Master Builders 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 their Altherm, First and Vantage brands.


* BCITO Strategic Workforce Development Framework, October 2015.