First scaffolding apprenticeship designed to help boost construction


New Zealand’s first apprenticeship in scaffolding is being launched in a bid to support the surging construction sector

Scaffolding, Access and Rigging Association of New Zealand (SARNZ), the industry body representing the leading companies in the sector, has worked closely with Skills (The Industry Training Organisation) and training providers to develop the apprenticeship.

The organisation aims to have at least 250 apprentices signed up by the end of next year, and has a goal of doubling the number of certified scaffolders in the country.

SARNZ Chief Executive Graham Burke said: “This is a very exciting time for the sector. Scaffolding is a highly-skilled occupation and we have had qualification programmes, up to level five, for a long time.

“However, public perception tends to be that you are only a trade if you offer an apprenticeship.

“This will do much to raise the profile of scaffolding as a skilled trade with very good career options.”

The organisation is keen to work with the government to help achieve its goals, in particular, the KiwiBuild affordable housing programme, and getting more people into training and careers.

There are approximately 2,000 New Zealanders who hold the Scaffolding Certificate of Competence, although not all of these are active, with some having retired or gone overseas.

The apprenticeship has been developed in close consultation with the industry.

All apprentices will finish their training having achieved the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (Trade) Level 4 as well as (General) Level 3.

“Applicants will not necessarily need to have any existing qualifications,” Burke says.

“They do need to be capable people with the right ability, attitude and ambition to work in an industry where qualified people are in high demand – offering real opportunities for a rewarding career.”

The apprenticeship will be open to those wanting to start out in the sector, people who are already working for scaffolding companies or have done pre-trade courses, and scaffolders who have already achieved the Level 3 standard and want to gain Level Four.

Burke says Skills NZ and SARNZ will be working alongside all providers to ensure high quality delivery of training. 

The existing National Certificate in Scaffolding will remain valid.


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