How to start an apprenticeship

You can start an apprenticeship now if you're working in a trade and your employer has agreed to train you, or you can start directly from school. You'll need to be working and have a driver licence. There are no other entry requirements for an apprenticeship. It helps to have some background knowledge, work experience and your own transport. A pre-trade qualification can be helpful but isn't necessary.

Get started right after school

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Find a job

You need a job to start an apprenticeship. Start by checking out our employment tips. We might be able to match you with a suitable employer who might be looking to hire. Previous work experience helps too. If you're close to finishing school, find some part-time or school holiday work in a construction-related industry.

Get your driver licence

Your boss may need you to go down to the store to buy nails, or fetch milk for smoko. A restricted is generally fine to begin with and being able to back a trailer will earn you brownie points too. It's crucial that once you’ve got your driver licence you keep it clean. Learn more about how to get a driver licence.

Starting in secondary school

Subjects like design technology, English and maths will come in handy if you're considering a career in the building and construction industry. It's important to get your literacy and numeracy credits.

You can learn useful skills by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades Skills (levels 1 to 3) through the BConstructive programme. If your school offers the Gateway programme that is also a good starting point.


Gateway is a free programme where Year 11-13 students can get practical workplace training while they’re still in school. It helps students make informed decisions about their future career path. Students can gain NCEA aromatawai standards to recognise the skills they learn on the job.

Sign up with BCITO Te Pūkenga

Once you’ve got a job and your boss has agreed to train you, get in touch with us to sign into an apprenticeship. We’ll get the paperwork sorted so you can take the first step towards becoming a qualified professional.