Apprentice Jared Cottle has claimed the title of the Rotorua New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge champion for 2021, after competing against two other apprentices on 10 April.
The apprentices were put through their paces, given just eight hours to build a picnic table that followed specific design plans and met minimum safety standards.
The picnic tables were assessed by a panel of expert judges who looked at technical aspects such as the quality of workmanship, measuring, cutting and assembly, as well as other essential skills while working against the clock, including their ability to follow a detailed plan and safe working technique, with Jared receiving the top score overall.
Jared Cottle, aged 20, is undertaking his building apprenticeship at Pope Homes Ltd. As well as winning the title of regional champion, Jared also won an ITM prize pack of trade tools and earned a place in the national final representing Rotorua.
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There he will compete against 18 other regional winners from across New Zealand for the Ken Read Memorial Trophy and $50,000 worth of prizes. The national final will be held at the NZCB Annual Conference in Wellington on June 11-12.
NZCB Apprentice Challenge manager Nick Matthews said the show of carpentry talent on Saturday was a testament to the high-calibre of apprentices currently in industry training, with all competitors either employed by NZCB member builders or enrolled with ITAB (Industry Training Association Building).
"The future of New Zealand's building industry is dependent on a robust pipeline of trade-qualified and well-rounded carpentry professionals. We encourage NZCB member builders to support this by taking on apprentices, as in doing so they provide a pathway into the industry and help to ensure there are highly-skilled builders coming through to meet the increasing demand for the sector," says Nick.
"These apprentices have developed the skills and passion to be successful in the trade with the support of their employers and the training scheme ITAB provides. These events are a great opportunity to give the community an inside look at building apprenticeship training that they might not otherwise see, and to celebrate those apprentices that have excelled in their field," says Nick.
NZCB supports the ITAB apprenticeship scheme, which is delivered by 11 polytechnics across the country. More comprehensive than other apprentice training schemes, the ITAB apprenticeship scheme provides over four years of extensive practical experience and solid theoretical training, setting apprentices up for a successful career in the building industry with a broad set of professional skills.