We prepare and up-skill our students for careers in a variety of trades. Whether you are a school leaver needing to enter pre-trade training prior to an apprenticeship, or a seasoned tradesperson looking to up-skill, we have full-time and part-time courses to suit your needs.
Our trades programmes are located on Ensors Road in Christchurch and Timaru.
NB: If you’re still at high school, a Dual Enrolment programme at Ara can equip you with trade skills while you continue your education at school. Find out more here.
Subjects we teach
We offer a broad range of trade training in the areas of agribusiness, construction, electrical, motor industry and engineering trades. Our training programmes are designed with flexible timeframes for completing your qualifications and most are offered as both full and part time options. Usually you will start out with a pre trade programme to get the core skills and knowledge ideal for starting work as a trainee or apprentice. You can then complete further training with us as well as in your workplace.
You can become work ready for a trade in under four months.
Our programmes also offer the opportunity for you to continue study at higher levels, or move into other related areas of study.
You can also study our trades short courses which include Heat Pump/ Split Systems, Electrical Service Technician, Electrical Service Technician A and Solar Hot Water Installations.
Facilities and resources
Perhaps the best trades training facility in the country, we have real-world learning environments including:
- Training building barns
- State-of-the-art equipment and machinery
- Custom built workshops and machine rooms
- Purpose-built Engineering Technology Centre
- South Island Plastics and Polymer Centre of Excellence
We also hosts TradeFIT, a simulated subdivision where trades students are trained in key infrastructure trades in a real world environment, alongside other trades trainees and experienced tutors. TradeFIT includes: residential and commercial building construction; civil works; electrical distribution; telecommunications installation; plumbing and gasfitting; brick and block laying; drainage and water reticulation, and steel structures.
Industry and community
Our trades programmes are at the forefront of training with qualifications that are nationally recognised and endorsed by more than 160 industry partners. Together we ensure you have access to the latest techniques, equipment and technologies. Our strong industry ties guarantee that our qualifications and work experience are relevant to current workforce needs and equip you to be work fit when you complete your programme.
Ara facilitates German apprenticeship exchange to New Zealand
Apprenticeships are all about getting out in the industry and learning the tools of the...
Female carpentry graduand breaking down gender barriers
Ma’aola Fiupepe, who comes from Samoa, is being celebrated as the first female carpenter to...
Building for Humanity
A group of Trades students went to Fiji to support Habitat for Humanity and build...
South Canterbury students trade school for a day
80 secondary school students attended the Ara Trade Sector Day in Timaru....
Tiny houses find new homes
Ara’s first tiny houses attracted a big crowd over the weekend when they were auctioned...
Ara’s first tiny houses are going under the hammer
Over the last year, 16 Ara students created the two tiny masterpieces that are now...