Meet Matthew Abbott, who was awarded first place at the Bay of Plenty Apprentice of the Year. The 22-year-old from Tauranga trained through BCITO and is employed by Calley Homes. He is one of ten finalists for the title of 2017 RMB CARTERS Apprentice of the Year.
Matt’s been with us at Calley Homes for just over four years and as the Regional Bay of Plenty/ Central Plateau winner for Master Builder Apprentice of the Year he is about to head to the National competition in November. The team at Calley Homes are really proud of his achievement. With his can do attitude and his strong work ethic he’s achieved a lot during his apprenticeship.
Here’s a brief Q&A we asked him to do to find out more about his experience throughout his apprenticeship
What were you like in high school?
“I went to Tauranga Boys and I was socially focused. I played rugby in the 1st 15 and really wasn’t thinking too far ahead. We travelled to the UK and Wales to play rugby in my final year which was a highlight.
When and how did you start at Calley Homes?
I arrived home from the rugby tour and had to start thinking about what I wanted to do. One of my teachers mentioned a builder he knew who was looking to take two young guys on. That was Johnny.
I went for a two week workplace trial and enjoyed the hard graft and the fact I was outdoors so when Johnny offered me a full time role I jumped at the chance. Three months later I decided to take the leap and begin my apprenticeship.
What made you decide to take on the apprenticeship?
In February 2014 I decided to take on the apprenticeship. I liked working onsite and outdoors and enjoyed working as part of the Calley Homes team. I felt I was in the right place with Calley Homes being known for the highest quality design and build work.
Was it a difficult choice?
I think initially I had to get used to the reality of working from 7am to 5pm each day so it wasn’t until I was three or four months into it that I started to stand back and look at what I was achieving. I liked being able to create something. I found satisfaction in that.
I was a little nervous about taking on the bookwork that goes along with an apprenticeship but I got that sorted early on by setting aside a few hours every second Sunday. I’ve had support the whole way through too so it’s easier when you have a boss that believes in you.
What changes have you seen in yourself since taking the apprenticeship on?
“So much has changed. From learning the basics of being on a construction site and learning the tools to developing enough to be given the responsibility of the role of foreman on a $500K plus build. I’ve also become a father and that has made me step up and apply myself further. My partner Helen and son Flynn are my motivation”.
What made you decide to enter the Master Builders apprentice of the year?
I wanted to measure myself against my peers and gain the recognition proving to my family, my boss and my work colleagues what I am capable of.
What advice would you give to someone considering taking on an apprenticeship?
So many people I know have taken the university course because they haven’t known what they want to do and it’s not right for everyone. At the end of this year I will have completed my apprenticeship and will be a qualified builder without the headache of the debt of a student loan. So I think considering a trade as a career is definitely something to think about.
I also think not letting the bookwork put you off. When you apply yourself it’s not hard and as you gain the results you do feel satisfied.
Make sure the company is one you want to work for, that you’re proud to work for. It’s been great for me as I’ve had a good experience and made some awesome mates.
Find out more about a career with Calley Homes here
Find out more about Master Builders - Apprentice of the Year competition here
Find out more about choosing a trade as a career here