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Building Apprentice Nails Regional Title

Building Apprentice Nails Regional Title

Winner of the Hawke’s Bay Carpentry Apprentice Challenge Sam Talbot paced himself perfectly to claim a place in the national finals being held later this year.

“It’s not a race,” says Sam, who feels he learnt from competing in the last two events. “It’s a lot easier knowing more and this year I took my time.”

Sam was one of eight top EIT apprentices selected to take part in the regional challenge. Each competitor was asked to build a garden bench under pressure of time and watched by shoppers and supporters at the TUMU ITM centre in Napier.

EIT programme coordinator Shane Sigglekow says the eight-hour project was challenging, involving some complex joints. The judges, who included Certified Builders Hawke’s Bay president Alan Whyte, were looking for professionalism and work methods rather than just speed.

“It was a close finish with only one point separating Sam and runner-up Mark Gill from Dunnett Builders,” says Shane. “Third placed was Geoff Eager who works for Concept Master Builders.”

As the winner, Sam will now go up against nine other regional finalists competing for $70,000 in prizes at the national finals, to be held on June 26 as a highlight of the Certified Builders Conference in Hamilton.

From Hastings, Sam explored his interest in building through a Gateway programme while at St John’s College in Hastings. After leaving school, he completed EIT’s nine-month Certificate in Carpentry programme.

With the theory from the pre-trades course under his belt, he is now progressing through the National Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4) units while working for builder Paul Boaler. Sam is looking forward to completing his apprenticeship this year.

Asked what it is that he likes about building, the 23-year-old says: “Being outdoors and doing something different every day.”

Seeing building as a portable career, his longer term goals are to travel and eventually to have his own business.

“We’ll see where it takes me,” he says.

The outdoor bench seats built by the apprentices are to donated to local charities.


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