Carpentry apprentice Matthew Morison has been named the Hawke's Bay East Coast Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year.
The 22-year-old from Waipukurau trained through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation and is employed by Waipukurau Construction.
Matthew impressed the judges with the skills he had learned from his apprenticeship. This year, apprentices put their skills to the test in the first ever regional practical challenge. Apprentices were judged on their initial entry submission, with the top 10 in each region progressing to an interview with the judging panel and an on-site visit where contestants discussed their project.
Judges said Matthew was an "outstanding young man" who capably demonstrated his wide range of skills.
"Matthew impressed in his project submission, interview and site visit, especially with his passion for health and safety.
"He showed great product knowledge and leadership qualities on site. Matthew is a well-grounded young man who is motivated to succeed and will go far in the building industry."
Matthew was awarded a range of fantastic products and tools, $2000 to spend at CARTERS, and a spot at an Outward Bound Course.
Second place in the regional competition was awarded to 21-year-old Liam MacGregor from Havelock North, who is employed by Richard Cole Builders Ltd.
The results were announced at an awards ceremony at Palmerston North Conference & Function Centre last night.
Registered Master Builders chief executive David Kelly says Apprentice of the Year showcases the attractiveness of a career in the trades.
"Apprenticeships offer the chance to earn as you learn and be a part of an industry with strong job prospects and opportunities for growth. With the construction skills shortage currently facing the building and construction industry, the value of an apprenticeship has never been higher," he says.
"We applaud the commitment and determination from all the apprentices and look forward to seeing their skills at the national competition in November as they make their mark on the industry."
BCITO chief executive Warwick Quinn says the organisation is proud to be a part of 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 recruits to the industry is critical," he said.
"The opportunity to earn while you learn and having the first two years of eligible programmes free of fees makes an apprenticeship an excellent choice for school leavers.
"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."
Matthew will now compete against the winners from the other nine regions at the national competition in Auckland this November.
Each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge, the product of which will be donated to a local charity.
The practical challenge is held on November 9 at the ASB Showgrounds and will be open to the public.
The competition is taking place alongside the Auckland Build Expo, which will bring together industry professionals and leaders from across the construction sector.
The winner of the Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2018 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on November 9.