Ready, Willing And Very Able

Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday November 13, 2002

Karin Bishop

Apprentices of the Year

The next generation of building workers will be efficient, responsible, enthusiastic and innovative, as evidenced by the winners in this year's apprentices division.

Four carpenters, each at a different stage in the four-year apprenticeship scheme, were awarded the MBA Apprentice of the Year Award after their diligence, co-operative natures and reliability were praised by their employers.

Simon Walsh, 18, a first-year carpentry and joinery apprentice with Brisland Pty Ltd, says his career choice was easy because he was always most interested in woodwork at school.

"I like being outdoors and using my hands. And when you have finished a job and you look back and think you were a part of it, it gives you great satisfaction," he says.

Walsh originally applied for employment with small building companies, but says the opportunity to work with a larger company such as Brisland has given him additional skills and experiences he would not otherwise have had.

Mark Mottinelli, winner of the Second-Year Apprentice of the Year Award, says he is happiest building houses and already has plans to continue his education by doing his building certificate at TAFE at the end of his apprenticeship.

"I want to become a builder - working mainly in residential," he says.

"I just like being up on the roof building frames. I love the job and I want to learn everything I can."

And his ability to learn fast is one of his greatest skills according to his employer, Rob Roberts of Dewkent.

"He picks things up very quickly, and even though he is just 18, he can already build a house by himself," he says.

Lindsay May, winner of the Third-Year Apprentice division, says the building industry has more than lived up to his expectations - so much so that he, too, is planning to do a building course and go out on his own at the end of his apprenticeship.

"I really enjoy working with my hands and seeing the finished project," he says. "I really enjoy every aspect, and the hours are good and the pay is good."

David Thompson, winner of the Fourth-Year division and now in his final year, says he is looking to either become a builder himself or to become a teacher to pass his skills on to the next generation.

"Building a house is great because you see a lot of things happening from the ground up," he says.

His employer, Maxine Leeson from Leeson Building, says she nominated him because he was always enthusiastic and had shown great commitment to developing his trade skills.

© 2002 Sydney Morning Herald

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