CPIT carpentry student top apprentice in NZ

News News & events

18 Jun 2012

CPIT carpentry student Zac Wilkinson has thrilled tutors and his family, securing the title of Certified Builders National Apprentice of the Year after being put through his paces at a weekend long conference in Wellington. “The whole experience was a prize in itself. Winning tells me that I could be a future leader in this industry,” he says.

The talented young builder won the Canterbury regional competition with a built to specification playhouse, which was then donated to charity. In Wellington he had to submit a portfolio of work which included an architectural renovation, red zone structural support and earthquake repairs. He was then assessed on his performance in workshops throughout the Certified Builders Conference.

“It was nerve wracking knowing you were being judged the whole time but I felt at ease in the workshops because building is a passion of mine. ” he says.


Zac outshone the other competitors with industry representatives commenting on his leadership potential and excellent communication skills. As a prize he received a 21 day Outward Bound experience and now has a stand-out addition to his CV.

Zac credits his success to his CPIT training, his supportive apprenticeship leader and workplace mentors. “I was struggling for two months on the job before I started studying. At CPIT I learned all the basics and the theory behind building, which has helped me to move through my apprenticeship quickly. I would encourage people thinking about becoming a builder to come here first,” he says.

Wilkinson, who is in his final stages of his apprenticeship, aims to own his own business in Canterbury to support the region’s rebuild. “Fletchers started somewhere after all and Christchurch is the perfect place to be for a builder,” he says.

His advice to other young people wanting to succeed in building is: “It’s not how you do it. It’s the attitude you do it with. If you want to go places you have to put in the extra yards.”