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Unitec students take out top spots at the 2021 NZCB Apprentice Challenge sponsored by ITM

From left to right: Unitec participants Cole Moore, Roderick Jeremia, Mitchell Armstrong, Harrison Forbes, Jack Morris. All standing in Unitec Mataaho building From L to R: Unitec participants Cole Moore, Roderick Jeremia, Mitchell Armstrong, Harrison Forbes, Jack Morris.

Two Unitec carpentry students shared the Auckland crown in the regional final of the 2021 New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge, after a day-long competition at Mataaho, Unitec’s trade training facility, earlier this month.

Cole Moore (31), who’s doing his carpentry apprenticeship at Kiwi Construction Ltd, was voted the top apprentice for Central Auckland, while Roderick Jeremia (25), who’s with Building Maestros, won the North Auckland regional final. Both were awarded an ITM pack of trade tools, along with a place in the national final representing Auckland. There they’ll join 18 other regional winners from around the country to compete for the national title at the NZCB Annual Conference in Wellington on June 11-12.

Both Jeremia and Moore were awarded an ITM pack of trade tools, along with a place in the national final representing Auckland. There they’ll join 18 other regional winners from around the country to compete for the national title at the NZCB Annual Conference in Wellington on June 11-12. Fellow Unitec carpentry students Jack Morris and Harrison Forbes were ranked second and third, respectively, in the North Auckland regional final.  BCITO apprentices Sa’uma Leva’a Walpole and Ben Weatherby were placed second and third respectively in Central Auckland.

In the hotly-contested competition, the carpentry apprentices were given eight hours to build a picnic table to specific design plans, working independently and following safety guidelines.
The picnic tables were assessed by a panel of expert judges who ranked the participants on technical aspects such as the quality of craftsmanship, measuring, cutting, assembly, safe working technique and time management. 
Unitec carpentry graduate Cedric Folaumoetui was the national winner of the NZCB Apprentice Challenge in 2019, becoming the first Pasifika champion in the history of the awards. He was a member of the judging panel at this year’s Auckland final, and says it was heartening to see the growing number of Pasifika students participating and excelling.  

Cedric was joined on the judging panel by fellow Unitec graduate and 2016 national winner Clement Richer, who says it was an honour to judge the students’ work and to see the calibre of talent coming through the industry.

Unitec participant Harrison Forbes using a hammer to nail in a piece of wood at the NZCB apprentice challengeUnitec participant Harrison Forbes.

All the tables made by the apprentices during the regional finals are currently being auctioned on Trade Me to raise money for the Cancer Society, NZCB’s preferred charity. 

NZCB supports the Industry Training Association – Building (ITAB) apprenticeship scheme, which is delivered by 11 polytechnics across the country.
 
Leni Fifita, carpentry liaison officer for ITAB at Unitec’s School of Trades & Services, said all the apprentices who participated in the Auckland final produced work to a very high standard, which was testament to the support and commitment of their employers, as well as the expertise and dedication of teaching staff at Unitec.
NZCB President Nick Farelly said, “It was very pleasing to see how good the quality and attention to detail was from the younger apprentices. It meant that the senior apprentices had to be on their game as there was very little between all contestants.”

Published: April 27th, 2021


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