Browns Bay builder Robert Piutau has emerged victorious in a search for North Auckland's top building apprentice.
A competitive field of 19 apprentices competed at the New Zealand Certified Builders Apprentice Challenge event in April, in which each builder had just eight hours to create a children’s castle playhouse. Each apprentice was given detailed construction plans, and had to build a detailed play castle, featuring a turret and working drawbridge. A panel of experts judged each playhouse on workmanship, measuring, cutting and assembly, with Robert’s playhouse receiving the highest overall score.
Robert, 33, is in the second year of his building apprenticeship at ABS in Browns Bay. As the regional winner of the competition, he took home a Makita power tool and ITM-branded merchandise, courtesy of sponsor ITM. He will move forward to represent North Auckland at the NZCB Apprentice Challenge Final, to be held at the NZCB Annual Conference in Rotorua later this month, with a chance of winning the national title, and a prize pack valued at over $50,000.
NZCB Chief Executive Grant Florence was impressed with the talent on show at the event, which attracted a record number of entries nationwide.
He said: “Top quality apprentices are critical for the future of New Zealand’s growing building industry. Fostering and encouraging young talent is a responsibility NZCB takes seriously.
“We encourage our member builders to take on apprentices, as it creates a pathway into the industry and ensures the sector can meet the increasing demand for trade-qualified, highly-skilled and well-rounded building professionals."
Grant explained that the ITAB apprenticeship scheme, which Robert and his fellow competitors are on, provides over four years of extensive practical experience and solid theoretical training, setting apprentices up for a successful career in the building industry with a broad set of professional skills.
The team at ABS Builders, based on Browns Bay Road, and will be cheering Robert on in the national finals, which take place 25-26 May.