Nelson’s Wade Puklowski was elated when he was awarded second place at the Registered Master Builders 2016 Apprentice of the Year last month.
The 23-year-old, employed by Coman Construction, says he was quite shocked by the announcement, but was very happy and relieved he did well in the competition.
“Apprentice of the Year was an awesome experience. The competition was incredibly rewarding, and it was great to have all the support from my employer and family,” he says.
Wade says he entered the competition to challenge himself and put his skills to the test against other apprentices.
“My employer has had two previous apprentices in the finals, so I wanted to prove to myself and him that I had what it takes. Being awarded second place was amazing — we are both really thrilled.”
Wade says the time pressure of the playhouse build made the competition pretty exciting.
“We were all really focused on the playhouse, with a giant clock ticking down in front of us. I definitely felt the pressure as it got closer and closer to the end, but that made the competition even more exciting.”
Judges were impressed with Wade’s enthusiasm which shone through at every stage.
“He is professional and well presented, he delivered an excellent interview, and followed through with great practical skills,” they said.
“Wade had a methodical approach and a fantastic work ethic. He is a credit to his employer and the industry.”
Wade explains that his apprenticeship with Coman Construction contributed greatly to his second place in the competition.
“I have worked with some very experienced builders who I have learnt a lot from. I also didn’t have a nail gun for the first three years of my apprenticeship, so I actually got really good at hand nailing!” he says.
Wade encourages future apprentices to enter the competition, as it is a great way to test skills and make your mark in the industry.
Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be part of the construction industry are also encouraged to join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/registeredmasterbuilders.
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 its Altherm, First and Vantage brands.