JRZ Homes estimator Chris McKenzie was named Queensland Apprentice of the Year at the Master Builders Housing and Construction Awards.
Presented in Brisbane on Friday night, judges were impressed with his boundless enthusiasm, initiative and ability to upskill.
Chris took out the Wide Bay regional award in August and will now represent Queensland at the national titles.
After winning the regional award, Chris said the effort he had put into his apprenticeship was worth it and he thanked the team from JRZ Homes for the support.
“It's been unreal and the pat on the back at the end of it makes it all worth it,” he said.
“I moved up from Wagga Wagga and people were saying there was a low employment rate so I jumped at the opportunity when it came up.
“All the boys on site were so supportive.”
Chris finished his apprenticeship earlier this year and he's now a qualified chippy, specialising in estimating.
JRZ Homes Director Jesse Zielke said he was proud of Chris's success.
“Chris started with us as a labourer. He showed a great work ethic and initiative and we decided to sign him on as a carpentry apprentice,” Jesse said.
“During his apprenticeship he showed great potential to progress further.
“Towards the end of his apprenticeship we chose to put him into a senior role as our construction estimator and he has excelled in this position.
“He is also upskilling presently by doing his Certificate IV in Building and Construction.
“He is a very valuable member of our senior team and we're excited about his future.”
Jesse said he's passionate about employing apprentices and currently has three others.
“We also want to grow our own. Most of our senior team has worked their way up the ranks and it's proving pivotal to our continued success,” he said.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Chris McKenzie and JRZ Homes on the award.
“It's fantastic that a local firm is investing in its people. Chris has seized this opportunity and put Bundaberg on the national stage for success in vocational training,” he said.
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