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New Zealand’s top apprentice announced

Media Release
Wednesday 7 November

New Zealand’s top apprentice announced

Central North Island carpentry apprentice Rhys Forsyth has taken out the top award in the Registered Master Builders 2007 Apprentice of the Year competition, in association with Carters.

The competition is backed by principal sponsor Carters and supporting sponsors the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), Registered Master Builders Federation (RMBF) and the Department of Building and Housing.

Rhys, from National Park, beat nine other top apprentices from around the country for the title. It is the first time a national winner has been awarded in the competition.

Employed by National Park Construction, the 25-year-old is passionate about building accessible homes for the elderly and people with disabilities. He is also building his own home.

Chief national judge Ian Shepherd, from the BCITO, says Rhys’s passion for the building industry and his entrepreneurial vision for the future made him stand out from the other national finalists.

“Rhys has a real passion for designing and building homes that are fully functional for disabled and elderly people. The combination of Rhys’s technical skills, knowledge and character make him a model apprentice and a fitting national winner,” Mr Shepherd says.

Minister for Building and Construction, Hon Shane Jones, says, “I’m rapt to see such keen young kiwis showing enthusiasm to succeed in the building industry. Of course, the apprentice scheme disappeared from sight in the nineties and it is a matter of great pride for me to see it growing again.

“The competition shows we have talent spread all over the country and I have a genuine feeling that as experienced builders move on our young apprentices will be able to step up to the plate,” Mr Jones says.

Winners from 10 regional competitions around the country were flown to Wellington for two days to be interviewed by a national judging panel.

Wellington apprentice Matt Sharp, 25, came second and 22-year-old Southern region apprentice Blair Stuart was third.

“Carters are thrilled with this competition’s continuing growth and success, and congratulate all winners and national finalists,” says Carters national operations manager Andrew Cochrane.

The winners were announced at an awards event in Wellington last night attended by more than 100 people, including the Minister for Building and Construction, Hon Shane Jones, apprentices and their families, and key representatives of the building and construction industry.
Now in its fourth year, the Apprentice of the Year competition has undergone significant growth since its inception in 2004, with this year’s competition being run in 10 regions nationwide and attracting a record 133 entries.

Notes to editor:

The Apprentice of the Year competition is a joint initiative by Carters, the Registered Master Builders Federation, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) and the Department of Building and Housing (DBH). It aims to recognise excellence among carpentry apprentices and raise awareness of the career opportunities in the building and construction industry.

The Apprentice of the Year competition has been run in 10 regions this year: Northern, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Central North Island, Wellington, Upper South Island, Central South Island and Southern. Winners of each regional competition have gone on to become finalists in the national competition.

The national winner receives a prize package which includes:

• Trip for two to an Australasian trade show and associated travel package
• Stanley 51 piece Builders Apprentice Kit
• Lufkin Automatic Laser Level kit

The second placegetter receives a prize pack which includes:

• DeWalt Compound Mitre Saw
• BCITO branded iPod Nano

The third placegetter receives a prize pack which includes:

• DeWalt Reciprocating Saw
• BCITO branded iPod Nano

All national finalists receive a prize pack which includes:

• Standards New Zealand Standards 3602, 3604, 3920
• Education kits from DBH
• Branded merchandise from Carters and BCITO


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