Wade Puklowski (who won the regional Certified Builders Carpentry Apprentice Challenge in April and came second in the National Certified Builders Carpentry Apprentice Challenge) took out first place at the award ceremony held on 9 September at The Giesen Centre in Renwick. The win will see him compete against the winners from nine other regions at the National competition in Auckland on 4 November.
Second place was awarded to 22 year-old Luke Senkeldam (who also came second in the regional Certified Builders Carpentry Apprentice Challenge in April). Luke is currently employed by J Lewis Building Limited in Nelson.
Third place was awarded to 24 year-old Anthony Cotton-Rees who is employed by Scott Construction.
To have students from a single institute of technology take out the top three placings in this particular competition is a NZ first and Steve McIntyre who manages the NMIT building apprentices couldn't be happier.
"I have spent a lot of time with these guys over the past few years during on-site visits and I have recognised this potential in them for a long time. They all have that desire to succeed but all also approach tasks with caution and a small amount of self-doubt. I am extremely proud of these guys".
NMIT is one of 12 education institutes training apprentices under the Industry Training Association Building scheme (ITAB). The ITAB programme supports information gathering through seeing rather than reading.
"During our block courses we do teach theory but we back it up with practical experience. One minute we'll be in the classroom discussing pitching a roof and the next minute we'll be in the building barn physically cutting out the roof framing and assembling it," Steve explains.
Since 2002 approximately 350 NMIT apprentices have passed through the scheme. ITAB currently has 82 NMIT apprentices on board and each is made to feel like they are one of one.
"I believe that value is added to the lives of our apprentices because the tutors spend time with them. Time is the most important thing you can give anyone.
"Site visits take an average of an hour. This time is spent getting to know the apprentice, talking to the employer or foreman, looking at and taking an interest in the apprentice's recent work. And these occur four times a year," Steve adds.
Getting to know the apprentices – not just on the job but their interests – has generated an atmosphere of achievement best demonstrated by Wade, Luke and Anthony and bodes well for the future of all carpentry apprentices driven to succeed.
Congratulations and well done to you all, and in particular Steve McIntyre without whom achievements like this wouldn't be possible.