NZCB launches its new Apprentice Network

by | Feb 20, 2024

The New Zealand Certified Builders Association (NZCB) has launched its new Apprentice Network, designed to provide support to employers and apprentices. The new scheme provides NZCB builders and their apprentices with support to ensure both parties have a positive experience during learning.

The Apprentice Network aims to reinforce learning on the job for apprentices while providing access to services and resources such as industry and network events, deals, and wider professional development opportunities.

“The Apprentice Network is designed to complement the learning that apprentices receive through Te Pūkenga pathways,” said Nick Matthews, Industry Pathways and Apprenticeship Manager at NZCB.

“Often, apprenticeships are seen as a way to learn technical skills, but through NZCB’s new network, we will be equipping apprentices with many other capabilities to help them in the industry, which is the extra support that, until now, has been missing in the building sector.”

The Apprentice Network will not only provide practical technical help, it will also offer mental health services; as well as general health and wellbeing support to try and stem the tide of learners leaving the industry before they qualify, added Mr Matthews.

“In our industry, we see lots of apprentices leaving before they get their qualifications. We hope that the Apprentice Network is a step towards addressing that, by providing apprentices with the additional support they need to finish their apprenticeships and go on to work in the industry,” Mr Matthews said.

The service will also help employers create a more supportive workplace through resources like apprentice employment contract templates and insurance packages to navigate the legal requirements of hiring an apprentice more easily.

NZCB said the network also offers educational modules designed to help employers foster an effective learning environment. Known as ‘Train the Trainer’, the modules will support employers looking to hire an increasingly diverse range of apprentices, including more women.

Any apprentice employed by a NZCB Business Member builder can join the Apprentice Network. Mr Matthews said he hopes the scheme will help futureproof the flow of talent joining the construction industry.

“We hope that our members see this as an investment in their staff, and also the future of the wider building industry. The Apprentice Network, and other exciting changes that we are working on, are great opportunities for us all to contribute to the next generation of Kiwi builders,” Mr Matthews concluded.