ALL SMILES: Apprentice of the year Chris McKenzie is loving life after capturing a major award at Friday night's Wide Bay Burnett Master Homes Housing and Construction Awards.
ALL SMILES: Apprentice of the year Chris McKenzie is loving life after capturing a major award at Friday night's Wide Bay Burnett Master Homes Housing and Construction Awards. Mike Knott BUN120819APP2

Meet Bundy's building Apprentice of the Year

BUNDABERG'S Chris McKenzie is building himself a successful career.

On Friday night he was recognised by the Wide Bay Burnett Master Homes' Housing and Construction Awards where he took out the Apprentice of the Year award.

The 27 year-old is originally from Wagga Wagga, though moved to Bundaberg five years ago after his girlfriend got a job locally.

"To start with it was just a job,” Mr McKenzie said.

"It was hard to get a job with the employment rate being low.”

Mr McKenzie laboured for JRZ Constructions for a number of months as a bricklayer before he was offered an apprenticeship in carpentry at the same company.

He was not expecting to win the award when he walked in to the Master Homes' awards night on Friday, but said walking away with it was a "bit of a bonus”.

Mr McKenzie said JRZ Constructions went far beyond what he was expecting when he began his apprenticeship, giving him experience in estimations before his apprenticeship was even completed.

"That was probably a bit of a foot up,” he said.

Now completely off the tools, Mr McKenzie has started working in estimations at JRZ.

Master Builders' Wide Bay Regional Manager Ian Langer said Mr McKenzie stood out because of his attitide and mature aproach as well as a combination of testimonials from Tafe teachers.