Te Rarawa son wins building apprentice of the year award

By Herewini Waikato

Joshua Malcolm Welsh from Te Rarawa has won this year's two-day New Zealand Certified Builders Apprenticeship Challenge competing against 21 other regional champions.

Before the national challenge, the regional champions first had to compete in an eight-hour competition featuring an original building project within their regions.

Once the Dargaville-based building apprentice has his Licensed Building Practitioner certificate, he plans to build homes under his name, and give back to Māori communities as well as help those facing a housing crisis within the community.

He may also investigate building marae, to inspire the upcoming generation. “The marae is beautiful, peaceful and a humbling place to be. I want to create a safe shelter for the community,” Welsh said.

Welsh said that since he was a hands-on creative person, he thought it was best to follow in the steps of his grandfather, who was a builder in the 1970s.


Te Rarawa builder takes out NZ Apprenticeship challenge

Community-connected

Sadly, his grandfather died when Welsh was young but Welsh said this challenge had been a way to connect with and honour his grandfather

Other than the competitive side of the challenge, the apprentice builders were exposed to the professional side of the building, knowing how to run a business, knowing how to run a job, and developing their skills.

New Zealand Certified Builders has been operating for 25 years with the goal of educating and supporting builders in their work.

NZ Certified Builders chairman Nick Farrelly said he was impressed with the mastery displayed in this year’s builders apprentice challenge, as well as the attitudes of the 22 competitors as many of the builders wanted to return to their communities and aspire to use their building knowledge and skills to develop and support their communities.

“They actually want to do things for the community, and that’s the sort of people we want in our industry,” Farrelly said.

Welsh took home the Building Apprentice of The Year 2022 title and a trophy plus a $15,000 pack.