One of the highlights of the Master Builders Victoria calendar is the series of small events comprising the Regional Apprentice of the Year Awards. The quality of applicants from the regions is consistently high, and our judges, many of whom are themselves practitioners, are always impressed, remarking how good it is to see our industry thriving with enthusiastic new blood.

We view local training and development as a high priority to give young people career opportunities in the building industry, which is vital for the growth of regional centres. In addition, the Master Builders’ Foundation, which was established in 2010, has helped apprentices and students by awarding over 89 scholarships and providing more than $78,000 worth of tools.

Among the nominees was one young apprentice carpenter who, though he didn’t progress to the state Apprentice of the Year Awards in Melbourne, stands out not just as an achiever in his field, but of the benefits of putting up a hand to participate in this long-running Master Builders Victoria tradition. Thurgoona/Albury carpenter Trent King, one among 71 nominees from north-east Victoria won a Certificate of Merit and a show bag of prizes recognising his achievements and hard work. 

Trent set his sights on a promising future in the building industry when he was 16 years of age. He started work with a cabinet-maker and he also worked for a concretor before deciding to pursue his carpentry apprenticeship at age 25 at Murray Mallee Training Company Ltd. It was his TAFE teacher who nominated Trent in the ‘Best Over Entire Apprenticeship’ category, which recognises sustained excellence in skill and commitment across the entire apprenticeship.

Only selected apprentices are nominated by their training providers and an even smaller number are actually interviewed. Trent was up against a tough group of nominees this year and made a very good impression on the judges.

“Being involved in the awards was a great experience,” Trent said. “It actually didn’t take a lot of time; I did a video interview and in March I went to the North East awards night in Benalla. I definitely would encourage other apprentices to give it a go. It is good to have your work recognised and meet other people in the industry.

“I finished my apprenticeship in October last year and I really enjoy using my carpentry skills. No day is the same working as a ‘chippie’ and it is very satisfying to work on a project from start to finish and see the end-result. There is a lot of development happening in the Albury-Wodonga area and I’m glad to be a part of it. I moved from Wagga to Albury to play rugby league football for the Albury Thunders and both my sport and work has benefited.” 

The deadline is fast approaching for our 2019 program. For more information call the Careers Team at Master Builders Victoria on (03) 9411 4555.