Do you want a career in carpentry? Enrol in building and construction at Tai Poutini Polytechnic and get prepared for your apprenticeship.

You’ll be trained in every aspect of a house build – including foundations and roofing – so you’re ready for work on the West Coast where our builders do the lot! You’ll even get to build a three-bedroom house alongside your classmates and get a feel for the real job.

The 34-week programme gets you ready for work. It includes three weeks’ work experience with a local West Coast builder, which can often lead to offers of apprenticeships after your training is finished.

Our tutors make sure you know how to handle yourself on a building site. You’ll learn how to use hand and power tools, understand health and safety practices on-site and become more confident and more employable on a building site.

Graduates of Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s building and construction programmes are in-demand. Local builders are busy right now and they are keen to employ graduates who have learned the basics and know how to get the job done.

If you’re looking for carpentry or building construction training, then Tai Poutini Polytechnic is right for you. You’ll learn how to become a builder and start working toward your construction, building or carpentry qualifications.

  • Level:
  • Credit Value:
  • Awards:
    NZ Certificate in Construction Trade Skills, Carpentry (Level 3)
  • Location:
  • Method of Study:
    Full time
  • Holiday Duration:
    6 weeks
  • Teaching Duration:
    34 weeks
  • Total Duration:
    40 weeks
  • Start Date:
    13 February 2023
  • End Date:
    17 November 2023
  • $6,880 **Please see the additional costs below. 

** Additional costs:
You should expect to spend approximately $500 on programme specific equipment (apron, hammer, rule, tape, pencil, square, punch set, chisel set, driver set, screwdriver set, safety glasses, ear muffs and knife). This can be covered by the course-related costs section of your student loan (if you are eligible). You can borrow up to $1,000 even if you are not drawing down the tuition fees component of your student loan, e.g. those students who are fees-free.

Core Elements

Core elements in this programme include:

  • Workplace safety and practices
  • Core skills for construction trades
  • Carpentry terminology and concepts
  • Building technology and properties
  • Construction and installation processes and techniques
  • Carpentry project preliminaries
  • Carpentry project foundation and support structures
  • Carpentry project frames, structures and building envelope
  • Carpentry project interior linings and finishing

Programme Structure and Workload

The construction programme runs for 34 weeks including theory, practical learning and work-experience training in the industry.

Further Study Pathways

  • New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills Level 4
  • National Certificate in Construction Site Management

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this programme will have the skills to pursue a career in the construction industry in a variety of positions such as Apprentice Carpenter, Hammer hand or Skilled Labourer.

Entry Criteria

  • A minimum of 10 credits in each of literacy (reading and writing) and numeracy in NCEA Level 1, or be able to demonstrate suitable knowledge and skills.

  • Domestic applicants aged 20 years or above who do not meet the academic entry requirements, but who can demonstrate their skill, education and/or work experiences, may be eligible for special admission.
  • Students must be physically capable of meeting programme requirements. Applicants are also required to attend an information session where students must demonstrate their ability, interest, motivation and commitment to succeed in the programme.
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must meet IELTS (or equivalent) Level 5 with no band lower than 5.


This is a Safety Sensitive Programme