A Belmont carpentry apprentice has been nationally recognised as the 2022 HIA Jim Brookes Australian Apprentice winner.

22-year-old Brayden Burgess.

In front of an audience of industry leaders and consumers at the 2022 HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards on April 24, 22-year-old Brayden Burgess won an award that was among some of the highest honours in the residential building industry.

“I am ecstatic that I have been able to win,” Burgess said.

“It’s pretty encouraging that I got to be the first individual to win this award for the Hunter too.

“I definitely think it is a great achievement, and I couldn’t be happier.”

HIA Hunter Executive Director, Craig Jennion, congratulated the apprentice on his award and said it acknowledged his outstanding skillset and demonstrated potential in the industry.

“Brayden’s ability to clearly articulate his achievements and industry goals impressed the judges,” Jennion said.

“His communication skills, work ethic and attitude make him a true asset to PB Quality Constructions.”

Brayden has been hosted by Newcastle construction company PB Quality Constructions since the start of his carpentry apprenticeship in 2017.

The judges and his host praised his motivation, eagerness to learn, forward-thinking, effective leadership and his high standard of workmanship.

Burgess said his exposure to carpentry in high school motivated him to pursue a career in the industry.

“Throughout years 11 and 12, I studied a Certificate II in Construction, which gave me a great understanding of the industry and the passion for pursuing carpentry as a career.”

Brayden has continued learning by taking on supervisory roles, completing his Certificate IV in Building & Construction and gaining his Bachelor of Construction Management at university.

Currently, Burgess is working full time as an apprentice and studying a construction management degree part-time.

“I’m studying part-time, so I can work full-time and study after hours,” he said.

He added that seeing carpentry projects come to fruition was the most rewarding thing about his apprentice work.

“As a carpenter, we are the only trade that practically stays with a project for its entirety, so that’s what I enjoy the most,” Burgess said.

“For the moment, I’m planning on continuing working with my current employer, supervising and estimating with him.

“Potentially down the track, I’ll look into starting my own business or use my construction management degree, which I’m currently halfway to completion with.”

The HIA Jim Brookes Australian Apprentice award, partnered with Stratco, celebrates the achievements of future tradespeople and recognises excellent trade knowledge, quality building work and solid trade school results.

The award was named after Jim Brookes, an avid supporter of young people and their training in the industry, who worked with James Hardie in supporting the HIA Training Foundation while it was active.

Maia O’Connor

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