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Trades Training

Empowerment, Education, Enterprise

Carpentry Trade Skills

OCA Certificate Level 3

If you want to join the carpentry trade, this Level 3 course will help you to develop the transferable skills you need to become work-ready as an apprentice.

Wrap-around support 

Learn in a culturally responsive workshop and learning environment with wrap-around Whanau Ora support tailored to Pasifika students.

Develop your resilience

You'll be encouraged and supported to develop your resilience in terms of attitude, initiative and reliability, and enhance your self-confidence, self-esteem, self-management and other attributes to match the requirements of employers.


You'll be supported to get ready for your entry into apprenticeships in a range of contexts, but particularly through increasing your understanding of employer expectations of entry level employees.

OCA Certificate in Carpentry Trade Skills

Develop the transferable skills you need to become work-ready for the construction trades as an apprentice. 

The OCA Certificate in Carpentry Trade Skills includes project based learning with individual support, digital learning through use of an e-portfolio, guest speakers, work experience, co-operative learning and team work. 

You'll learn about workplace safety, communication on the job, completing construction tasks, doing calculations, understanding and applying carpentry terms, understanding basic building technology and apply this knowledge to carpentry projects. You'll also use construction and installation processes and techniques and carry out assigned carpentry work in a project environment. 

What You Learn

Develop your transferable skills and become work-ready for an apprenticeship in the construction trades.

  • Work safely and in accordance with compliance and regulatory requirements in the carpentry trades sector
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues within the construction industry
  • Work under supervision to complete simple construction projects
  • Perform building calculations to complete a range of familiar tasks in the carpentry sector
  • Understand and apply specific carpentry terminology and concepts such as line, level, square and plumb when carrying out carpentry work in a project environment
  • Understand basic building technology, the properties of timber, the use of carpentry hand tools and portable power tools on construction sites and apply this knowledge to carpentry projects
  • Use construction and installation processes and techniques while carrying out carpentry projects
  • Carry out assigned carpentry work in a project environment

Quick Facts

Study method and duration

1 day per week for 4 terms

310 hours (248 classroom, 62 self-directed learning) 

NZQA level 3
Credits  31
Cost Free for eligible students
Start date 2018
Enrolment  Open now 
Further study New Zealand Certificate Level 4 
Career opportunities Entry level positions in trades industries 

Success Stories


Alumni: Ezra Cossill 

Studied: Levels 1 and 2 Certificate in Mechanical Engineering with Trades at School 

Working as: Building Apprentice, NR Developments Limited

At age 18, Ezra Cossill can’t imagine doing anything else than what he does now as an apprentice carpenter/builder.

Read more


Employer: Nathan Robertson 

Director, NR Developments

Finding good, reliable builder apprentices has sometimes been a challenge for NR Developments Director Nathan Robertson, who has been in the business since leaving school.

Read more

"OCA was good because I wanted to use my hands and it's a good practical way of learning and it's really beneficial for some people" 

Ezra Cossill, Trades at School alumni 

Industry News

  • Employer Spotlight: Peter Wilson

    As a longstanding employer based in South Auckland, the building company Carters had been frustrated by the lack of job applications residing within the local area. They’re now working with OCA to tu View details

  • Investing in the future of youth

    Carters on Harris Road passionately supports business interaction with local schools and has had remarkable success in employing school leavers while working with Oceania Career Academy.  MORE View details

More News

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