Marton teenager Harrison Gillard has edged out three other apprentices to win the title of Manawatū New Zealand Certified (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge champion for 2021 and will now head to the national final.
The apprentices were given eight hours to build a picnic table that followed specific design plans and met minimum safety standards, putting their skills to the test in a tense environment.
The competitors were given the plans a week in advance, allowing them to prepare and plan.
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 Gillard receiving the top score overall.
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With his win, he has earned himself a place in the national final representing Manawatū.
"It was a bit stressful. Everyone did a really good job, it was a really cool event," said Gillard.
Gillard, 19, is in the first year of his building apprenticeship at Craig's Building in Marton.
"My boss was one of the organisers and let me know what it was. It sounded like fun so we just jumped in.
"It was really well organised and a fun event. I'd recommend people have a go at next years
He will head to Wellington on June 11 to compete against 18 other regional winners from across New Zealand for the Ken Read Memorial Trophy and $50,000 worth of prizes.