Search is on for NZ’s top carpentry apprentice


It’s time for carpentry apprentices from across New Zealand to show off their skills and build their career by competing for the coveted title of 2019 Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year.

Apprentice of the Year is the leading apprentice competition for the building and construction sector. The competition showcases the high level of skill in the country’s carpentry apprentices, and highlights the many career options available in the construction sector.

By competing, apprentices can demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have gained from their training and their employers.

Registered Master Builders chief executive David Kelly says New Zealand’s building workforce is expected to grow by more than 17,000 workers by 2020.

Not only does the industry need more skilled apprentices, but there is a need for more employers to take on apprentices.

“Apprentice of the Year not only recognises excellence among our carpentry apprentices, but also acknowledges and celebrates the employers that contribute to the industry by investing in young talent,” he says.

“We believe the on-the-job training given by employers provides apprentices with the best kick-start to their career. Currently, only 25,000 businesses are taking part in workplace training. We need more employers to invest their time, skills and energy into training apprentices to meet demand.

“We encourage all employers to enter their apprentices into Apprentice of the Year, and all ambitious apprentices to take part. Taking part in the competition is a fantastic way for apprentices to establish their careers in the industry.”

Mark Blyth from Armitage Williams Construction encouraged his apprentice Peter Ravn to compete in last year’s competition. Peter went on to take out the title of 2018 Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year.

Mr Blyth recognises the benefits of investing in apprentices and the many opportunities a career in construction can offer.

“I choose to take on apprentices because there is a demand for quality tradespeople in New Zealand. Our company has now trained over 90 apprentices for over 33 years.

“We think it’s great to train up these young people properly and bring good carpenters into the industry.”

This year the competition entry age has been increased to 30 years old to support apprentices that are joining the industry later and after higher education.

Peter was a Fine Arts graduate who switched career paths after struggling to find work.

“After university I was looking for a job in set design, but employers kept telling me I didn’t have the right skills. So I decided to do a carpentry apprenticeship. I am enjoying carpentry so much — I think I’m here to stay!” Peter says.

Supporting the competition for the 15th year running will be principal sponsor CARTERS. CARTERS chief executive Mike Guy says CARTERS is honoured to have been a part of launching the careers of skilled apprentices for over a decade.

“Apprentice of the Year reflects CARTERS’ dedication to supporting New Zealand’s apprentices and the wider industry through investing in training and development,” Mr Guy says.

“Attracting young talent and ensuring they are equipped with the right skills in our industry is essential to the success of New Zealand’s construction sector,” he says.

We encourage anyone who has an interest in an apprenticeship to be a part of a sector that leaves a tangible legacy for the generations of Kiwis to come.”

All carpentry apprentices are eligible to enter the competition online at, with entries closing on Monday, May 20.

Apprentices can be in the running to win a share of more than $100,000 in prizes, as well as the sought-after title of 2019 Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year.

Each of the country’s regional winners will go on to compete at the Apprentice of the Year national competition in Auckland later this year.

The Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor CARTERS, and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).