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Top building apprentice in Wellington region announced

Top building apprentice in Wellington region announced

Whitby apprentice Ben Hanna has been named the Wellington Region Registered Master Builders Carters 2011 Apprentice of the Year.

The 26 year old, employed by Hanna Construction in Whitby and trained by the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation, received praise from competition judges who say Ben is enthusiastic and passionate about carpentry.

"He is a straight talking, confident, well prepared young man, as was evident through his submission," they said.

"During the site visit it was evident how his training as a Quantity Surveyor has helped him put together the company's systems for OSH, time sheets and variation record sheets for use on all their sites."

Second place in the regional competition went to Philip Kingsbury, 25, of Newlands, who is employed by Plan It Construction Ltd. Third place went to Blake Honeyfield, 23, of Johnsonville who is employed by LT McGuinness.

As part of the entry process, each apprentice was asked to submit a project that they are most proud of. Ben presented judges with his work on a classroom extension at Papakowhai School in Porirua for three months at the start of 2010.

"Ben's client spoke highly of the work that he had carried out and also in the manner that he conducted himself in the environment of the school grounds that he was working in," judges say.

Ben's employer John Hanna is impressed with Ben's diligence and confidence within his apprenticeship.

"He has a great understanding of the industry and is fully capable of organising all aspects of the projects," John says.

"He has brought some great administration ideas into the company and has been involved in tendering and running projects, and controlling subcontractors," he says.

"Ben takes pride in his workmanship along with his tools, and he is always willing to take additional responsibility where required. Ben is a great asset to our company and is highly motivated to be an up and coming builder who will do well in the industry as a leader."

Registered Master Builders Federation Chief Executive Warwick Quinn says this year's entrants are exactly the calibre of skilled professionals the building and construction sector needs to take it into the future.

"It is reassuring to see so many high quality young apprentices taking on the challenge of the Apprentice of the Year. Having folk like this prepared to step up and push themselves to be the best is good for our industry and showcases building as a great career option for others," Mr Quinn says.

Brent Waldron, Chief Executive of principal sponsor Carters, says Carters was keen to continue its support for the Apprentice of the Year award this year.

"Carters is a business that exists for building industry trade customers and it is our desire to assist talented young people to make a career for themselves in our industry. We also recognise the commitment of the New Zealand builders who take these young people under their wing and help to train the builders of the future," he says.

The awards evening, held at the Wellington Town Hall on Thursday 1 September, was well attended with guests including apprentices' family, friends, colleagues and industry representatives.

Ben received a specially designed Outward Bound course valued at over $3,600, and either a study grant towards the completion of study or postgraduate study in any construction or business course valued up to $2,000, or $2,000 to spend at Carters towards increasing his toolkit for winning the regional competition. Ben also received a Makita 185mm Circular Saw, a Makita 14.4 volt Drill Driver and a Department of Building and Housing jacket, flask and cap.

Ben will now compete as one of the top 10 carpentry apprentices from around the country at the national Apprentice of the Year finals in Wellington on October 29.

Apprentices, employers and those young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are encouraged to join up to the Facebook page by searching RMB Carters Apprentice of the Year at .


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