Concpt Construction celebrates award-winning apprentice

Concpt Construction takes pride with apprentice Sam Graham's win at the Auckland region Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition.

Doug Johns and the whole Concpt Construction team are enormously proud of apprentice Sam Graham’s efforts at the 2023 Auckland region Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition.

Sam was placed third, amongst stiff competition and certainly displayed all his strengths and attributes that, Doug says, will stand him in very good stead in his future building career. “Sam put his hand up to give the competition a go, to pitch himself against the best young builders the region has to offer.”

To apply, Sam needed to present the panel with a written submission of the work he has undertaken so far, undertake a practical two-hour build and receive a visit by the judges to a site where a project Sam had worked on had recently been completed, followed by an interview – not for the faint-hearted!

As a somewhat older apprentice, in his 30s, Doug says it is certainly a pleasure to be a part of Sam’s learning pathway. Doug also says the BCITO training app and process services apprentices well.

“It’s been modernised, and I think they have the balance right between theory and practical. Most builders are visual learners, they learn by doing and seeing. It’s been very helpful we have a great BCITO advisor in Rob Walton, and the next apprentice we get we will ask Rob to take care of him or her as well.”

Concpt Construction was established in 2011. After returning from the UK in 2007, Doug undertook a building apprenticeship having come from a furniture manufacturing background. “I was lucky enough to be taught my building skills from a legend – Fred Margetts. It gave me a great start, and I’ve never looked back.”

“You have to think carefully before taking on another staff member as you have to know you have enough work to justify that decision and cost.”

Today, Concpt Construction, based in Mt Albert, is a small team of three, who work on residential new builds, bathroom and kitchen re-fit, renovations, decks and landscaping. Doug says the variety of work is great.

“It’s an ideal environment for an apprenticeship to gain plenty of experience across a wide range of building forms. We enjoy extensions and renovations because there is always an element of problem-solving that provides a fertile learning space.”

Work extends over a large footprint, from Te Kauwhata in north Waikato to across the North Shore. The third member of the team, Luke, has just recently joined and is new to building, having come from the civil concrete sector.

Doug says the size of the team is dictated to a degree by the rise and fall in demand from clients. “You have to think carefully before taking on another staff member as you have to know you have enough work to justify that decision and cost, and you have a responsibility to keep everyone busy.”

Doug is looking forward to 2024, with projects being booked up now. He is actively engaged in the tools and sets aside a day a week to undertake all the necessary administration and planning.

As if leading a busy building company isn’t enough, Doug also gives back to the industry, serving as the western region Master Builders sub-chair. “We organise events in our region, and I enjoy the opportunity it presents to meet other builders, industry supply people and keep up to speed with the latest regulatory changes governing building.”

© Waterford Press Ltd 2024 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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