NZ Certified Builders (NZCB) encourages apprentices nationwide to get their entries in before the 25 March deadline for its annual Apprentice Challenge sponsored by ITM.
The regional heats of the competition will be held in multiple locations across the country on 6 April, with great prizes up for grabs and the winner of each going on to compete for the coveted title of national champion in June.
NZCB Industry Pathways and Apprenticeship Manager, Nick Matthews, says that with the significant increase in the number of carpentry apprentices in the last few years, they’re proud to be championing the development of the industry through programmes such as the Apprentice Challenge and their new NZCB Apprentice Network.
“The Apprentice Challenge is a huge highlight of our year at NZCB, and we love coming together with our members to recognise and celebrate the next generation of builders. The competition is a fantastic way for apprentices to demonstrate the technical skills that they’ve learnt.
“As well as technical carpentry skills, apprentices need a broad range of business competencies to be successful in the industry. That’s why we’ve set up our new Apprentice Network and we’re really looking forward to seeing many of our Apprentice Network members take part in this year’s Challenge,” says Nick.
The Apprentice Network is designed to complement the learning that apprentices receive through their studies, by reinforcing learning on the job and offering access to industry and networking events, wider professional development opportunities, mentoring and health and wellbeing support.
“While any building apprentice is welcome to enter the NZCB Apprentice Challenge, our Apprentice Network members can sign up for the challenge at no cost, which is one of the great benefits of being part of the network,” says Nick.
All apprentices that compete in the regional heats will receive an ITM prize pack and additional prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place-getters. Regional winners also win an all-expenses-paid trip to the national final, held at the NZCB Annual Conference and Expo in Wellington in June, where they will compete for the Ken Read Memorial Trophy and $50,000 worth of prizes.
A week before the regional heats, competitors will be advised of the project they are to build. On the day of the heats, each competitor will have eight hours to complete that project using durable, trade-quality timber and materials courtesy of ITM.
The finished projects must meet minimum safety standards and will be judged by a panel of experienced building practitioners and industry educators. The judges will be assessing a range of building elements, including quality of the craftsmanship, assembly, ability to work to a detailed plan, safe working technique and time management.
The projects made by the apprentices will be offered for sale to raise money for NZCB’s Apprentice Trust, which is designed to financially support Apprentice Network members by providing access to scholarships and grants.
Apprentices can enter by visiting apprenticechallenge.nz and filling out the entry form. Entries must be received by Friday 25 March 2024.