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Hammer time: Apprentices set to give contest a crack

Carpentry apprentice Conor Hoverd, 22, is keen on the Apprentice of the Year competition. PHOTO/ CAL ROBERTS

CAL ROBERT.S
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Wairarapa carpenters-to-be will be giving it their all in the Apprentice of the Year awards.

A construction boom coupled with conditional fee-free study has in part led to high volumes of people being apprenticed in the region.

Carpentry apprentices will compete for a share of more than $100,000 in prizes in this year’s Registered Master Builders Carters 2018 Apprentice of the Year competition.

Conor Hoverd, 22, has been apprenticed for almost two years, and is thinking of giving the competition a crack.

He had been working on town houses in Masterton, which provided plenty of useful opportunities.

He said he was keen to see how he stacked up against fellow apprentices and the competition was a good way to highlight the work he did and the people he worked for – MB Brown Ltd.

“It seems quite interesting, I like to think I’m doing pretty good.

“The boss really wants me to do it.”

This year, the competition will be a little different.

A practical challenge had been introduced to the regional competition.

Apprentices will be given a task — which will be unknown to apprentices until the day — to complete in two hours.

Mr Hoverd thought the challenge was a good idea.

He saw value in a display of skill early in the competition to show judges what the apprentices were capable of straight out of the gate, “because it is about your practical skill really, isn’t it?”.

The best candidates from each of the 10 regions will go through a judging and panel interview.

The regional competition winners will then take part in the national competition held in Auckland in November.

Mr Hoverd said because he was progressing well with his training, this year could be his only chance to compete as an apprentice.

Registered Master Builders chief executive David Kelly said the awards showcased the future of the industry.

“Taking part in the competition is a fantastic way for apprentices to establish their careers in the industry.”

“The competition participants go on to become our future leaders and we want to encourage all ambitious apprentices to take part.”

From January 1, 2018 the government’s fees-free policy came into effect, meaning apprentices may be eligible to have the first two years of training fees paid for them.

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) has 104 apprentices training and learning in Wairarapa this year – more than double the number three years ago.

Entries are open now for competition, with regional practical events at the end of June. Apprentices can register to compete at apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz

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