Bad weather and cancelled flights didn’t stop this year’s NZCB Apprentice Challenge becoming the biggest to date, with a record number of apprentices from around New Zealand competing.
The national final, held on 26-27 May, drew 15 apprentices with 14 competing during the weekend (unfortunately the Waikato representative had to pull out last minute due to illness). Despite transport issues causing late arrivals to Auckland, the professional group of men arrived unfazed on the day, quickly becoming friends and offering to lend a hand during the Trade Expo set up.
Each year the competition draws apprentices with an extremely high standard of knowledge and skill and this year was no exception. Judges Brian Dillion, Peter Taylor and Clement Richer spoke highly of the apprentices’ skill sets and technical capability shown during their trade presentations. More than a few apprentices admitted to spending a few late nights and early mornings prepping for the competition, and the effort was evident in their delivery.
Otago’s Chris McLean took out the NZCB Apprentice Challenge, impressing judges with his dedication to trade, public speaking and presence. Chris was moved by the result and later admitted he thought it could have gone several ways with the level of competition on the day.
Bay of Plenty’s Luke Dickinson came runner up with Alexander Cholewa from Wellington in third place. The Chairman’s Personality Award went to Dave Wallace from Gisborne.
A total prize package of approximately $50,000 was up for grabs, thanks to the generosity of the many industry-related sponsors. First prize was a scholarship to Outward Bound from Winstone Wallboards, a Makita Compound Slide Mitre Saw and a 10-piece Cordless Kit thanks to ITM.
Second prize was a Frame and Trim Master Nail gun set from Paslode, with third place receiving a Weber BBQ, Trade Apparel, Technology Item, and a Hitachi Drill/Driver kit thanks to Carters. Each of the place setters received a TE-3m Rotary Hammer Drill thanks to Hilti. The Chairman’s Personality Award winner received an Ecko FC75 Weatherboard Nailer, Air hose and Compressor thanks to Ecko Fastenings NZ Ltd.
Congratulations to all the finalists who took part in the 2017 NZCB Apprentice Challenge!
Check out the ITAB Facebook page for photos of the epic final!