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Study Joinery at Unitec

New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills - Joinery

If you enjoy working with wood and see yourself as a joiner then this is programme will get you started. Learn the essential basic principles and practices in preparation for employment and apprenticeship in joinery.

90 (0.75 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February/April, or July
24 weeks full-time

Programme overview

In the first four weeks (30 credits) of this programme, you’ll develop the essential skills for a career in the building industry. Become knowledgeable about the basic principles and practices for general construction including calculations, communications, health and safety including your site safe passport, first aid, hand tools, power tools and machinery. 

For the majority of this programme (an additional 60 credits), you’ll focus on the joinery strand. This is an in-depth introduction to joinery skills and includes machining, construction, assembly, and installation techniques while carrying out joinery projects.


  • Practical projects using a variety of hand tools, portable tools, and machines
  • Learn in Mataaho, Unitec’s brand new purpose built trades building, with new, top-of-the-line machinery
  • Designed to prepare students who haven’t had previous tertiary training for employment in the building industry
  • Obtain the basic trade skills required for anything from DIY jobs, through to pre-apprenticeship joinery skills in preparation for employment and apprenticeship
  • Small classes, with plenty of one-on-one time with our industry-experienced staff
  • Can serve as a pathway into further study, apprenticeship and/or work in joinery, cabinetry or furniture-making

Qualification and what next

Once you’ve successfully completed this programme, you’ll receive the New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills. From here you can enter into work, go onto your apprenticeship in industry, or study the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. 10 NCEA credits at Level 1 in English and Mathematics

2. A minimum of 3 years secondary education

3. Be at least 16 years old by the time the programme begins

4. If English is not your first language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t meet these requirements? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 2 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Skills for Construction Trades (CIBC3512) 10 credits (0.083 EFTS) To enable the student to identify and apply a range of introductory communication, specification and drawings, and calculation skills that underpin effective practice in the construction industry.
Joinery Terminology and Concepts (CIBC3521) 10.0 credits (0.083 EFTS) This course aims to introduce students to fundamental joinery terminology when carrying out joinery tasks.
Joinery Materials and Hardware (CIBC3522) 10.0 credits (0.083 EFTS) In this course students will apply their knowledge of a range of basic joinery materials and products that are used in a variety of joinery projects.
Machining, Construction, Assembly and Installation of Joinery Products (CIBC3523) 10.0 credits (0.083 EFTS) In this course students will identify and apply a range of construction processes and installation processes and techniques when carrying out joinery tasks.
Joinery Project 1 (CIBC3524) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) In this course students will complete a range of exterior joinery projects.
Joinery Project 2 (CIBC3525) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) In this course students will complete a range of interior joinery projects.
Workplace Safety Framework and Practices (CIBC3911) 20 credits (0.167 EFTS) To introduce students to the legislative framework and requirements for workplace safety in the construction industry and to select and consistently apply safe working practices.