Apprentices show their building skills

Jacob Esveld, of Gore, works on his bird house at the Invercargill venue for the southern...
Jacob Esveld, of Gore, works on his bird house at the Invercargill venue for the southern regional round of Registered Master Builders Carters 2019 Apprentice of the Year competition on Saturday. PHOTO: ABBEY PALMER
The pressure was high but contestants appeared at ease as southern building apprentices put their skills to the test for a shot at the title of apprentice of the year.

The southern regional round of the Registered Master Builders Carters 2019 Apprentice of the Year competition was held in two locations on Saturday, Invercargill and Queenstown.

Across the two sites, 11 promising apprentices put nerves to the side to put in the work during the practical session of the competition.

At 9.15am, apprentices arrived at work sheds with nothing but the tools they were told to bring.

Over two hours, they took on the challenge of building a bird house from plans they were given five minutes before the clock started.

With minutes to spare, competitors Joshua Parkhill and Connor Harvery, both from Invercargill, Jasen Scobie and Jacob Esveld, of Gore, and Shawn Hunter and Ryan Duffy, of Invercargill, had finished their projects before 11.15am.

In Queenstown, James Chapman and Tom Farrell, of Wanaka, Jo Stirling and Daniel Schenk, of Queenstown, and Alex Gunson, of Cromwell, were determined not to blend into the woodwork and also got their projects done.

Queenstown Carters branch manager Adrian Knights said it was important to showcase the talent and the hard work put in by apprentices.

"It just recognises up-and-coming people in the building industry."

A panel of judges will examine the bird houses, alongside written submissions completed by the competitors, before ruling on who is shortlisted to the top 10.

Judges will interview the top 10 over the next few weeks, as well as visit their work sites and meet their bosses.

The regional winner, to be announced at an awards ceremony, will go through to the national finals in Auckland, to compete against building apprentices from around New Zealand.

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