A career in construction

Help create New Zealand’s whares and be in demand for everything from retaining walls to playgrounds. People in the construction industry work as a team, and there are lots of roles involved. You could be a carpenter, plasterer, or scaffolder, or even manage construction projects. If you enjoy working outdoors and using your hands, have an eye for detail and like seeing a project come together, construction could be the trade for you. It’s also important to be a good communicator, as you’ll be working closely with other tradies.

“My office space is forever changing, and is ten times larger than any fancy enclosed box in a high-rise building. And one day, I’ll probably be able to say I helped build one of those buildings. This is one career where the phrase ‘my blood, sweat and tears’ are all true, and I’ve learned to love it. It’s also being able to do yesterday’s hard job a lot easier today.”
Flora Rivers

How do I train?

Trades training is flexible. You can:

  • Do a pre-trades programme, then get a job and apprenticeship
  • Get an apprenticeship straight away and study while you work

Many people start with a pre-trades programme at a training institution. This gives you the hands-on experience and theory you need to prepare for work. If you qualify for one of our scholarships you can study for free – and we’ll help you find work when you finish.

“Growing up in New Zealand, I was on the marae around my whānau in the kitchen, seeing them doing the mahi. That gave me an insight into practical hands-on mahi. Now that I’m working in construction, I love it. The senior builders really take the time to sit me down and run me through things. It’s fun being on the tools.”
Waru Pairama

If you’re ready for working life and happy to study while you work, you might be able to go straight into an apprenticeship. We can help you make that decision, and we might even know someone who needs an apprentice like you.

How do I fund my training?

There are a few ways to get your fees paid – but they’re not all the same. 

Only available to Māori and Pasifika learners, the MPTT scholarship doesn’t just cover your course fees, it gives you the most well-rounded support to get a job in the trades. 

Find out how the MPTT scholarship compares to other funding options.