The Timaru Herald

Timaru apprentice nails regional heat of carpentry challenge

- Yashas Srinivasa

A Timaru apprentice has been crowned the Mid and South Canterbury winner of the annual New Zealand Certified Builders Apprentice Challenge.

Quade Toy, 22, went up against Ashburton apprentice­s Connor Perriton and Jayden Marshall at ITM Timaru in Washdyke on Saturday and emerged victorious.

“I feel pretty stoked, to be honest,” said Toy, who is completing his apprentice­ship with Gale Builders Timaru. The two other competitor­s from Ashburton were pretty good. It was nice to face them in this, and I would say it was an even competitio­n.

“I really did not think I was going to win, and I was in shock when I did.”

Toy said he had been looking at competing in the challenge for a while, and when his employer asked him about entering this year, he was more than happy to do it.

The apprentice­s were given eight hours to build a picnic table that followed specific design plans and met minimum safety standards.

They received the plans a week beforehand.

The picnic tables were assessed by a panel of expert judges who looked at technical aspects such as the quality of workmanshi­p, measuring, cutting and assembly.

The judges also considered other essential skills while the entrants were working against the clock, including their ability to follow a detailed plan and practise safe working techniques.

Toy received the top score overall. “I looked at the plans and had a think about what to do and how to do it best and I just went with it,” he said.

“I just treated it like every other day on the job.”

Up next is the grand finals at the NZCB National Conference and Expo in Wellington in June, and Toy said he was looking forward to it. There he will compete against 19 other regional winners from across New Zealand for the Ken Read Memorial Trophy and $50,000 worth of prizes.

“I’ll get to meet other young builders from around the country, and I can see how my skills stack up to them,” he said.

“I will learn something, and this is a good chance to get my name and my company’s name on the national stage.”

The owner of Gale Builders, Allan Gale, said this was the second time somebody from the company had won the regional heats. The first was Connor Dowling in 2018. Gale it was great to see Toy’s skills shine at the competitio­n, adding that he was a “top guy” and one of the best apprentice­s to have worked at the company.

NZCB’s industry pathways and apprentice­ship manager, Nick Matthews, said the competitio­n on Saturday demonstrat­ed the “outstandin­g quality and diversity” of apprentice­s currently training in the industry.

“It’s really encouragin­g for the building sector to see the talent and motivation displayed by the next generation of Kiwi builders,” he said.

 ?? JOHN BISSET/The Timaru Herald ?? Quade Toy, an apprentice at Gale Builders Timaru, with the picnic table he made during the regional competitio­n on Saturday.
JOHN BISSET/The Timaru Herald Quade Toy, an apprentice at Gale Builders Timaru, with the picnic table he made during the regional competitio­n on Saturday.

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