At Ara we have been offering training for all aspects of the building and construction industries for more than 30 years. We can help you start and build a career in any of the construction trades:
About construction trades
Carpentry : As a carpenter you will work with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings. Carpentry is an obvious choice for those who are good at working with their hands and using hand and power tools. However, modern carpentry demands both manual skills and the ability to read drawings, sketches and plans for building information. Carpenters need to work accurately, be able to estimate the cost of jobs, and determine and order the materials needed for the job.
The usual pathway into carpentry at Ara is to start with the Certificate in Carpentry Level 4. Once you have completed this programme you will be able to enter the industry as a carpentry apprentice. To become trade qualified you will need to complete the National Certificate in Carpentry Level 4 whilst working through either a 'Managed Apprenticeship' at Ara, or through a 'Modern Apprenticeship' with an Industry Training Organisation (ITO). Becoming a trade qualified Carpenter generally takes 3 to 4 years.
Joinery and furniture making : A joiner differs from a carpenter in that joiners cut and fit joints in wood that do not use nails. Joiners usually work in a workshop, however joiners do work on-site when fitting finished pieces. If you want to work as a joiner you will work with specialised machinery in creating stairs, doors, windows as well as kitchen and bathroom units. Joiners design, manufacture, assemble and fit these pieces into new and existing domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.
If you are interested in the furniture making aspect of joinery, your training will enable you to make a wide range of furniture including; tables, chairs, bookshelves, wall units, lounge and bedroom units. In your career you may choose to specialise in either modern, period, restoration, upholstery or steel furniture or a type of timber.
Painting and decorating : Painting and decorating focuses on the finishing of rooms in residential and commercial buildings and uses a range of different application techniques to apply paint, wallpaper and specialised materials to create picture perfect finishes and effects. If you are interested in painting and decorating you will probably start out by completing the Ara pre-trade programme and then move straight into an apprentice position or even self employment depending on your level of experience.
Plaster Board fixing and finishing : Plaster Board Fixers and Finishers (Plasterers) work on the interiors of residential, commercial or industrial projects. They select the correct plaster board for the job, fix it to the framing, plaster the joints and finish it accordingly to the design specifications. The best start into this industry is with the Plasterboard Module Level 3 offered by Ara. This 14 week programme trains you in all the skills needed to gain work as an apprentice in the plasterboard industry.
Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying : Plumbers and gasfitters assemble, install and repair the pipes, and fixtures and fittings used to supply water and gas or to remove wastes. Drain layers are responsible for laying and repairing sewage drains, storm water drains and wastewater treatment systems. There is usually a shortage of tradespeople in these three areas, so employers are always on the lookout for future apprentices who have the skills and experience to start adding value from day one.
Masonry Trades : Masonry includes the study of tools, machines, masonry products, construction techniques for brick and block laying of single and two storey residential buildings and light commercial building construction, paving and flagstone. On completion of our pre-trade programme, you will be well positioned to obtain employment in the industry and begin an apprenticeship.
Studying construction trades
Success in the construction industry comes from maintaining quality workmanship and being highly motivated. You need a strong work ethic and a cooperative attitude. At Ara we encourage your enthusiasm for construction careers, helping you develop the knowledge, attention to detail and practical skills you need to gain a firm foothold in the industry. We can help you find relevant work experience with building companies and assist with your applications to become an apprentice. We know the challenges you will encounter and the rewards you can expect from being well skilled and capable of getting the job done well from day one.
Our expert tutors are professionals in their trade with strong industry connections and the qualifications to take you through every aspect of your chosen certificate. They share their knowledge of theory, techniques and practical experience and equip you with the ability to start work capable, skilled and confident. With our focus on hands-on learning in practical settings, we apply theory alongside the teaching of new technologies and the safe handling of materials and tools.
Many Ara trades programmes include an apprenticeship. You can find out more here.
Take a leading role in construction by gaining the skills and knowledge required to act as a supervisor.
Develop your carpentry skills plus the qualities of organisation and motivation needed to thrive in a construction environment.
Gain in-demand carpentry skills and apply your learning in the real world with regular work experience on actual construction projects
Programme Code: NZ2381 Level: 4 Credits: 58 Starts: August
Programme Code: NZ2738 Level: 4 Credits: 320 Starts: January
Programme Code: NZ2834 Level: 3 Credits: 120 Starts: February, July (Christchurch only)