Three apprentice builders from the Whanganui district are in line for higher honours with judging under way in the Registered Master Builders-Carters 2016 Apprentice of the Year competition.
The search is on for the country's 10 best apprentices being judged across 10 regions.
Whanganui and Manawatu are included in the Central North Island zone and 14 apprentices are being assessed before the regional winner is announced at a gala dinner in Whanganui on Friday, August 26.
Judging is over three stages starting with an entry submission worth 20 points, followed by an interview (100 points) an finally a site visit (100 points).
The 10 regional winners then compete for the National Apprentice of the Year title. The national judging takes place over two days in November and includes a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel and a practical skills test.
A total of 164 apprentices from around New Zealand are chasing the title and share of more than $100,000 worth of prizes.
David Kelly, Registered Master Builders chief executive, said entries were particularly strong this year, with numbers up 13 per cent from 2015, reflecting the high level of construction activity happening around the country.
"It's brilliant to see so many apprentices step up to the challenge. These future master builders are our next industry leaders, this competition is all about nurturing talent to ensure a better built New Zealand," Mr Kelly said.
"The competition provides them with the chance to prove themselves alongside their peers and the building and construction industry."
Warwick Quinn, Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation chief executive, said the organisation was proud to support an event that helps to promote the value of an apprenticeship in New Zealand.
"NZ's construction industry is facing a significant shortage of apprentices right now so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of the industry and show other young people what a career in the trades has to offer," Mr Quinn said.
The winning apprentice from each region will receive $2000 to spend at Carters, a place at an Outward Bound course, and a range of products and tools.