AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Building apprentice Ken Rowe has been named the Auckland Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2020 Apprentice of the Year. The 27-year-old from Auckland was trained through BCITO and is employed by Neil Mckendrick Builders.
At the Auckland regional competition the apprentices were judged on a two-hour practical challenge, 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.
The results streamed live on social media platforms on Friday.
"It was fantastic to see Ken return this year after a solid result in 2019's competition. Over the past year it is clear that Ken has continued to grow and improve," the judges said in giving their reasons for the decision. "Again, this year he delivered a fantastic submission which demonstrated a great level of knowledge and understanding. Right away it was clear we were going to be looking at a strong candidate this year. A cool and calm character on site, Ken was more than capable of walking us through every step of the build process. Ken's vehicle set up last year was a standout, but he has since made even further improvements to it. He is a very capable builder, one who is certainly destined to go on to bigger and better things. Well done Ken."
Ken (pictured, left) will now go on to compete against the winners from the other eight regions at the national CARTERS Apprentice of the Year 2020 competition in Auckland this November.
Second place in the regional competition went to 22-year-old Ben McKee from Auckland, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Faulkner Construction LTD.
"Ben made an immediate impact in his interview. After submitting a very strong submission, Ben brought it to life in person. His communication skills, passion and detailed knowledge was clear to see from the start," the judges said.
"During the site visit, things only improved further, with him showing a great level of understanding on the job. This was combined with some very positive feedback from the homeowner herself. It's clear Ben is exactly what this competition is looking for. He did an exceptional job overall."
22-year-old Joshua Smith from Auckland took out third position. he was trained by BCITO and is employed by Faulkner Construction LTD.
"Josh followed up a very strong written submission with a fantastic interview. He was able to impress across all aspects of the interview with his professional attitude and detailed knowledge of the industry," the judges said in giving their decision. "On site Josh continued to display exceptional knowledge with a very detailed walkthrough. Josh is a fantastic entrant who should be incredibly proud of how well he has performed in the competition."
Each regional winner receives a prize pack that includes $2,000 to spend at CARTERS, a place at an Outward-Bound course (plus travel costs), and an apprentice membership with the Registered Master Builders Association.
For the national competition, each finalist will undergo a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel. They will then compete in a practical carpentry challenge, held on 7 November in Auckland at the ASB Showgrounds. That event will be open to the public.
The winner of the Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2020 Apprentice of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner on 7 November.
Also Friday, Thomas O'Brien was named the Northern Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2020 Apprentice of the Year. The 20-year-old was trained through BCITO and is employed by Beacon Construction.
"Thomas' industry expertise, professionalism, and commitment to high quality of workmanship were on clear display not only on the worksite but also in his hobbies outside of work," the judges said. "All of this proved to us judges that Thomas is a terrific apprentice who is going to be an asset to our industry in the years to come."
Thomas will now join Ken Rowe and the other winners from the other 8 re7 regions at the national CARTERS Apprentice of the Year 2020 competition in Auckland this November.
Second place in the regional competition went to 20-year-old Kees Kramer, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Marty Hyland Building Contractors 2006 Ltd.
"Kees was an incredibly strong applicant," the judges said. "His written submission was impressive, as was his interview. However, it was during the site visit that Kees truly excelled. He came off highly confident and proved to all three judges that he was and a very well-rounded apprentice."
Third place was awarded to 27-year-old Brendan Regan, who was trained by BCITO and is employed by Twin Solutions Ltd.
"Brendan has shown himself to be an apprentice who likes to get involved in all aspects of the build. His attitude and continued growth is clearly an asset to himself and his employer, which should see him go far in the industry," the judges said.