Jake Pardoe has been named the Hawke's Bay East Coast Registered Master Builders Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year.
The Hastings man is over the moon with the achievement.
"This is pretty big for me. It has already helped me with confidence and solidified my interest in building."
The 21-year-old trained through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) and is employed by M & M Tibbles Construction.
Currently in his third year as a carpentry apprentice, Mr Pardoe said this wasn't what he thought he would be doing.
"I started working for my Grandad, building in the holidays, to earn money for university, but I enjoyed working with my hands and being outside so much that I didn't end up going to university."
The competition involved entrants completing a project, interview and site visit.
Mr Pardoe's award included products and tools, $2000 to spend at Carters, and a spot on an Outward Bound Course.
As for the future, he plans to progress in building.
"As soon as I get qualified, I want to go into partnership in the family business M & M Tibbles Construction."
He will now compete against the winners from the other nine regions at the national competition in Auckland later this year.
Registered Master Builders chief executive David Kelly said the competition helped to promote the opportunities that an apprenticeship in the trades has to offer.
Second place was awarded to Mathew Kim, who works for Anjalo Construction, while third went to Stephen Price, who works for Gemco Construction.