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SIT Hosts Top Carpentry Apprentice Challenge

Southland’s top carpentry apprentice was decided recently at SIT when local carpentry apprentices pitted themselves against each other and the clock at the regional heat of the annual New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge.

For the second year running SIT | Te Pūkenga hosted the event, supplying the carpentry workshop and the judges at the Invercargill campus on Saturday, 6th April.

SIT Programme Operations Manager, Tony Lemin, said SIT work closely with NZ Certified Builders, through managing apprentice programmes, by providing on-site assessments and training for carpentry apprentices. The competition is open to all Te Pūkenga apprentices in Southland.

This year, the contestants were required to build a picnic table within an eight-hour time limit. Mr Lemin explained the design had some complexities in the joins to challenge the apprentices, and they had tolerances of 1 mm to work to, in the measurements of the table.

Three of the four apprentices finished within the allowed time frame and the winner, William Hogg (20), a third-year apprentice at Kennedy Building, accrued the most points for his finished table. He won a $500 gift voucher and will compete at the national final in Wellington in June.

Mr Lemin said both he and fellow judge, Russell Finlay, agreed the tables were finished to a high standard. “They were amazing. Within the competition environment it’s all about visualising the project and taking the best path to completion.”

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The competition helped to develop skills the apprentices would use and hone in the building sector. “They have to work under pressure, something they need to grasp working in the industry, and the big thing is problem-solving,” Mr Lemin explained. In the workplace apprentices receive guidance, whereas in a competition environment, “they have to make their own decisions, no-one is going to tell them what to do”. He added it also developed their attention to detail. “Their work needs to be good, it’s going to be scrutinised.”

“It’s a great competition; it helps to foster excellence in the building industry. SIT is very pleased to support the local building industry through hosting and judging the event,” Mr Lemin said.

© Scoop Media

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