Apprentice Award a Conference Highlight

-As published by Builders & Contractors

The presentation of the inaugural Concrete Industry Apprentice of the Year award was a highlight of the New Zealand Concrete Industry Conference, held in Auckland in early October.

The honour was won by Carl Hay an apprentice at Eastern Bay Concrete 2014, Opotiki.

Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) Chief Executive, Rob Gaimster said the quality of the finalists was outstanding, covering those that work (and train) in precast concrete, placing and finishing, concrete production and concrete construction.

“To say the judges were impressed is an understatement. However, Carl stood out as a particularly worthy candidate who thoroughly deserved to be recognised for his technical competency in concrete construction, as well as his appetite to learn, and his leadership, communication and enterprise skills.”

With a well-developed set of skills across concrete placing, finishing and construction, Carl describes himself as confident in his role, and as having a very good relationship with management and peers.

His employer Shane Clark, says, “Carl is an asset to the company and a positive sounding board.”

Carl’s BCITO training advisor, Scott Braithwaite, also had a few words of praise to add, “I admire Carl’s ever increasing thirst for knowledge which supports his impressive all-round practical skills.”

Carl is approaching the completion of his National Certificate in Concrete Construction, after which he intends to enrol in the National Certificate in Concrete Production.

Rob Gaimster says the award was introduced to celebrate high achievers who have enrolled in or recently completed one of BCITO’s concrete apprenticeships. “I see the Concrete Industry Apprentice of the Year award going from strength-to-strength over the coming years. It will be a key component in celebrating excellence among our apprentices, recognising the importance of trade training and saluting employer and family support structures.”

The NZ Concrete Industry Conference is an annual opportunity to review the state of the concrete industry and profession and learn from international experts and national specialists.

This year was no different, with concrete production volumes extremely strong in many regions and with new applications and technologies being implemented in design and construction.  

With a conference theme of ‘Performance + Innovation’ this year’s keynote speakers were ideally suited to provide this insight.

Professor Joost Walraven from the Technical University of Delft is an expert in many aspects on concrete technology and structural applications, playing a leading role in organisations such as FIB and RILEM in Europe.  Over the last decade his work has focused specifically on the development of new types of concrete and their application. These include high-strength, self-compacting, high-performance fibre and low-binder concrete.

The other keynote speaker was Professor Ken Elwood who serves as the MBIE Chair in Earthquake Engineering and Director of the newest Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), QuakeCoRE: Centre for Earthquake Resilience.

His presentation focused on his post-earthquake residual capacity research related to the seismic response of existing concrete and masonry buildings.

The three-day format included some informative plenary and concurrent technical sessions covering a wide range of industry topics.

Active demonstrations and displays of the latest in heavy equipment and vehicles were again popular, along with the wide range of social activities which provided delegates and their partners with an excellent opportunities for networking, catching up with friends and establishing new contacts.

“Overall it was another fantastic conference celebrating the best of the concrete sector,” says event organiser, Allan Bluett.


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