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Belmont man wins HIA’s highest national apprentice award


Brayden Burgess has won the highest national honour for an apprentice within the residential building industry.

The 22-year-old carpenter was recognised for his outstanding skill set and potential in the industry at the 2022 HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards held last weekend.

In front of an audience of industry leaders and home-building consumers, the Belmont man was announced the 2022 HIA Jim Brookes Australian Apprentice winner, an honour he says represents a great opportunity. 

“I was so pleased to just be a finalist and it’s a fantastic honour to be recognised in this way,” he said.

“Entering the award was a great opportunity to show off my skills and what I have learnt from my employer as well as colleagues past and present.”

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

During that time he has been described by colleagues as a forward-thinker who loves a challenge and is an effective leader. 

By all accounts he takes pride in a high standard of workmanship in his tasks.

Brayden’s eagerness and motivation was praised by the judges and HIA Hunter Executive Director Craig Jennion who congratulated the Hunter finalist for his ability to clearly articulate his achievements and industry goals.

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

A high achiever in school, Brayden has continued his commitment to learning by taking on supervisory roles, completing his Certificate IV in Building and Construction, and gaining his Bachelor of Construction Management at university.

For Brayden the most rewarding aspect about working in the residential construction sector is its constant evolution.

“I really enjoy how the industry is constantly evolving,” he said.

“In particular developing new solutions to how we build to make homes more efficient and longer lasting, as well as suggesting alternative products to save on cost.”

And while he’s enjoying the learning, he already has clear aspirations for the future.

“In the coming years I’d like to stay with my employer and continue to supervise, estimate and learn new skills,” he says.

“After that I would like to consider opening my own business and expanding into commercial work using my degree in construction management.”

The HIA Jim Brookes Australian Apprentice award, partnered by 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.

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