Palmy boy Callum Bryson has obviously found his true calling in the construction industry. The 25-year-old was recently crowned the winner of the Registered Master Builders Carters Apprentice of the Year 2016.

During the two-day competition in Auckland in November, the 10 finalists each had their industry knowledge tested through a 45-minute interview and a practical challenge of building a children’s playhouse. It was Callum’s playhouse – which has been donated to Kelston Primary School – that earned him the top prize. The day after the competition was his wedding day, so it was certainly a big week for Callum.

Callum has always dreamed of building his own house one day and this goal was part of what attracted him to the building industry.

“I’ve always enjoyed building things and doing things with my hands. I was also good at woodwork at school,” he says. “I felt the building industry suited me as I enjoy working outside and doing physical work.”

He is now a construction site manager for McMillan and Lockwood. Along with the day-to-day tasks of a builder, Callum also manages aspects of the job, from ordering materials, to organising sub-contractors and delegating tasks. He’s been in the construction industry for five years and enjoys the work immensely.

“I love being able to physically see progress on a day-to-day basis and experience the sense of achievement when you step back and look at the build when it is completed,” he says.

“As for the worst bits, I believe every job has its bad days when something isn’t going right or you are running behind schedule but that is all part of the challenge.”

It’s clear that Callum enjoys a challenge.

“The thing with my job is that there are always bigger jobs out there and to be able to progress from small builds to large scale commercial builds is one of my goals,” he says.

Callum takes huge pride in his work and he tries to ensure that all the details are constructed to the highest standard.

“Being able to see a job done right is the biggest motivation for me in my job. The ability to get a set of plans and turn them into a physical building is very rewarding.”

The former Palmerston North Boys’ High School student has found the training relevant and achievable, with most of it being on the job and delivered through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO). Better still, he was able to earn while he was learning.

“My apprenticeship paperwork was easily achievable with the help and support I got from my training advisor from BCITO. It took three years to complete.”

Callum says he has had a lot of support from his BCITO training advisor, Darryl Lark, and the “older heads at McMillan and Lockwood”.

“There is a lot of experience within our company and I have been very lucky to learn from such a good group of guys.”

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