Carpentry apprentice Charles McKenna from Tocumwal was named the Masters Builders north-east section apprentice of the year at Rafferty’s restaurant in Benalla last week.
He was among three apprentices from the north-east region to be recognised for their dedication, skill and hard work.
Mr McKenna, who has completed trade school, said the sustainable building industry was what first attracted him.
‘‘I always had a bit of an interest in building and I had a few mates doing it,’’ he said.
‘‘The skill set you learn in building, I think, is the best of all the trades — it is just so broad.
‘‘One thing about the industry is that is seems fairly solid and there will always be things to be built.’’
Mr McKenna said one of the highlights of the job was the satisfaction of a job well done.
‘‘You can turn up to a job site in the morning with nothing there, and by the end of the day, you can see what you have been able to do. It is really rewarding.’’
He said he wasn’t expecting to receive the award on the night, and was taken by surprise.
‘‘You can never really go into a night like that expecting to win, but it certainly feels good,’’ he said.
Masters Builders careers officer Kathleen Peachey said Mr McKenna showed great determination and commitment to building his career.
‘‘Charles has a strong drive to succeed,’’ Ms Peachey said.
‘‘He worked tirelessly to build his own home while simultaneously pursuing his apprenticeship.
‘‘Charles has already commenced work on earning his Diploma of Building and Construction and is building momentum toward becoming a registered builder.’’
Regional winners are selected after an interview with a panel of three judges.
Once awarded, they will be invited to attend the State Apprentice of the Year Awards on Friday, May 12, in Melbourne, where the overall winners will be announced.