Qtown builders top in the region
A Queenstown builder with a passion for eco-building and ‘‘sense of direction’’ has won a regional apprentice competition.
Twenty-five-year-old builder Josh Atkins was named the top apprentice for 2017 at the Southern Registered Master Builders ceremony in Gore on Friday.
He is now aiming to win the national competition and build eco homes in the future.
‘‘With the housing crisis those options can be made affordable, and I think it’s a good future for residential construction.
‘‘I think they [judges] liked my sense of direction,’’ Atkins added.
Using solar power wisely could help the region and the country, he said.
‘‘Down the line I’d like to be a part of eco building and see what we can achieve there.’’
Queenstown was a great place to work in the building industry, as it was ‘‘booming’’, Atkins said.
‘‘There’s lots going on, you can go either commercial or residential and there’s lot of work and opportunities for young guys.’’
There had been incredible changes in the four years since he started working in the region.
Queenstown’s Boyd Van Leeuwen and Wanaka’s Brock Vuleta, 20, came second and third respectively.
As a finalist, Bayshore Builders’ Atkins would undergo a 45-minute interview and compete in a national carpentry challenge in November.
Judges were impressed with Atkins’ in-depth knowledge of the building industry.
‘‘Josh’s attitude to keep learning all he can, including sustainable and eco building and alternative methods of construction, is a big positive for the industry,’’ they said.
Registered Master Builders chief executive David Kelly says the competition highlighted the importance of apprenticeships during New Zealand’s building boom.
‘‘Apprenticeships play an important role in ensuring the industry can build through the troughs and mitigate skills shortages, which are currently facing the building and construction industry,’’ Kelly said.
Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation chief executive Warwick Quinn said the industry ‘‘desperately’’ needed more recruits, and the finalists were ‘‘strong role models’’ for those considering becoming builders.