Building apprentice Morgan Wills has been named the Waikato Registered Master Builders Carters Apprentice of the Year.
The 23-year-old from Hamilton trained through BCITO and is employed by Stewart Hanna Ltd.
The apprentices were judged on a two-hour practical challenge — where they built a bird box — and their initial entry submission.
The top 10 in the region progressed to an interview with the judging panel, which was followed by an onsite visit where contestants discussed their project.
Morgan impressed the judges with his wide breadth of knowledge.
"Morgan is an outstanding and very mature young man. His project submission and interview were of the highest standard, which displayed his wide breadth of knowledge.
"During the site visit, Morgan displayed a thorough understanding of the project and the specific details of each part of the building process. This all set Morgan above his peers, and he has an exciting future within the construction industry."
Second place went to James Ingham, 22, from Tirau, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Grant Stewart Building Ltd.
Third place went to Jono Sullivan, 27, from Te Awamutu who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Sullivan Builders.
Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly says, for nearly 15 years the Apprentice of the Year competition has been showcasing and rewarding the country's best apprentices.
"Highlighting talent at the Apprentice of the Year competition is a fantastic way to show the growth opportunities within the building industry. These apprentices are our industry's future leaders."
The competition not only recognises excellence among building apprentices, it also acknowledges and celebrates the employers that contribute to the industry by investing in apprentices.
"We need more employers to invest their time, skills, and energy to train their apprentices and meet the growing demand, as we believe that on-the-job training gives apprentices the best opportunity to kickstart their careers.
"With the construction skills shortage currently facing the building and construction industry, the value of an apprenticeship has never been higher," David says.
BCITO Chief Executive, Warwick Quinn, says the organisation is proud to be involved with an event that showcases the talent of the building and construction industry's future leaders, at a time when they are needed the most.
"We need thousands more apprentices each year, which means attracting new people is critical.
"Apprentice of the Year is a fantastic way to celebrate the talent that exists within the industry. All of this year's finalists are strong role models for those considering a career in the trades, and we look forward to seeing them put their skills to the test in the national competition."
Supporting the competition for 15 years, principal sponsor CARTERS Chief Executive Mike Guy says it's been fantastic to see the development of thousands of young talented apprentices throughout the years, and to see them go on to have successful careers within the building industry.
"Our longstanding partnership with Apprentice of the Year reflects our commitment to supporting this growth and ensuring we are providing apprentices with the tools, mentoring and training they need to succeed.
"We congratulate Morgan on his success in the regional competition and look forward to seeing all the finalists taking part in the national competition in November."
Morgan will compete against the winners from the other eight regions at the national Registered Master Builders Carters Apprentice of the Year 2019 competition in Auckland in November.