Otago Polytechnic

ITAB carpentry apprenticeships endorsed by Certified Builders Association

Looking to become a carpenter, site supervisor, building project manager, construction firm owner or self-employed builder?

Learn from professionals and gain sought after skills with a carpentry apprenticeship pathway brought to you by Otago Polytechnic in partnership with Southern Institute of Technology and Industry Training Association Building (ITAB). This apprenticeship option allows you to work in the construction industry as an employee under the supervision of someone who is prepared to train you. At the completion of your apprenticeship - which allows you to earn while you learn - you will achieve a respected and in demand qualification: the National Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4). This qualification will be awarded to you by Southern Institute of Technology.

The apprenticeship addresses industry standards and provides students with the full support of regional coordinators.

Study pathways

You can undertake the one-year Certificate in Carpentry (Pre-trades) (Level 4) which will prepare you with the skills needed for industry. Completing this programme also means that you will not be required to attend block courses once you start your apprenticeship. (Block courses are provided for apprentices who have not completed a full-time pre-trade Carpentry programme).

Alternatively, if you can find your own construction employer who is prepared to take you on as an apprentice you can enter directly into the apprenticeship scheme and undertake compulsory block courses and practical on-site apprenticeship assessment.

different options in joining

Entry criteria

To be eligible to enter our ITAB carpentry apprenticeship you must:

  • Have completed Certificate in Carpentry (Pre-trades) (Level 4) and have gained an apprenticeship working for someone who is prepared to train you OR
  • Have sourced your own employment in the construction industry as an apprentice. 


The regional apprenticeship scheme run in partnership between Otago Polytechnic and Southern Institute of Technology is competitively priced.

Fees are only $575 including GST per year – with no hidden or additional costs. 

Apprenticeship benefits

Apprentices can also gain ITAB membership which offers additional benefits like discount vouchers, awards, competitions and scholarships.

For more information on ITAB member discounts including savings on clothing and electronics and much more visit http://www.itab.co.nz/benefits/

Block course scholarships

If you are required to attend block courses, live outside Dunedin and require assistance with travel and accommodation to attend compulsory block courses, you may be entitled to assistance under the Apprenticeship Scholarship Trust. For more information on this, please visit http://www.itab.co.nz/apprenticeship-scholarship-trust/

New Zealand Carpentry Apprentice Challenge

Once a year, Otago Polytechnic holds a regional carpentry apprentice challenge. The winner of the regional competition gets to compete at the New Zealand Carpentry Apprentice Challenge, held each year at the national Certified Builders Conference.

Further study options

The apprenticeship scheme will prepare you for full-time employment in the construction industry. However, many graduates may wish to go on to further study including the National Certificate in Construction (Supervisor), National Diploma in Quantity Surveying (Level 6) or the National Diploma in Construction Management (Level 6) offered through Otago Polytechnic. 

ITAB Entry

Contact us

For more information, contact one of our local ITAB Apprenticeship Coordinators:

Trevor Schaffer
Apprentice Manager
Email trevor.schaffer@op.ac.nz
Phone 027 426 6621

Jim Huntington
Apprentice Manager
Email jim.huntington@sit.ac.nz
Phone 027 430 7036

Matt Thompson
Otago Polytechnic ITABS Co-ordinator
Email mthompson@op.ac.nz
hone 03 470 4382