Transcript: Just the Job - carpenter

Sheldon: Hi, I’m Sheldon Cullen, I’ve left school at Sacred Heart College and I’m looking for a job in the construction industry.

Clinton: Building activity in NZ has been on the rise since 2012. Population growth, housing shortages and the earthquake rebuild have all contributed to the volume of building work throughout the country, which means that qualified builders are going to be in demand for some time.

Clinton: Sheldon is meeting Richard from Wilkinson Building and Construction at a residential renovation site where he’s going to spend the day.

Richard: Yep well this is one of our sites here.

Clinton: Richard’s company employs 17 full-time staff that work on a number of residential and commercial jobs.

Clinton: At the site Sheldon is introduced to the project manager, Tim England.

Tim: Sheldon?

Sheldon: Nice to meet you.

Clinton: At any construction site, health and safety is high priority, so Sheldon is given a thorough induction.

Then they head inside and Sheldon is presented with some of the tools of the trade.

Tim: Carters have nicely donated some gear…

Clinton: Not a bad haul for the first day.

The renovation has been a big job, with substantial ground work done to build up a level, with further extensions to other parts of the house.

Sheldon: So how long has this renovation been going for?

Tim: The renovation itself has been going for ten months…

Sheldon: Yep.

Tim: …during that time we’ve had a lot of changes. It’s been challenging, but it’s been good.

Clinton: After a tour of the house, Sheldon gets to put his carpentry skills into practice…

…with the help of apprentice Kieran Horne.

Kieran is in his 4th year building and close to finishing his apprenticeship.

Kieran: Alright, here we are at a right-hand hung door, and the hinges are on the right-hand side…

…what we’re going to do now is just screw this door to the jam…

…if you could just grab that drill for me please…

…the best way to do it…

…hold the screw in your hand, put it in the hole that you can see here, make sure it’s going forward… 

…and just pulse it.

Clinton: Now the hinges are lined up it's Sheldon’s turn to use the electric drill and attach the door to the frame.

Kieran: All done?

Sheldon: Yep.

Clinton: Next up, the framing needs to be measured and fitted with brace-line gib board.

Tim: Well as you saw with Kieran and Sheldon when they were doing the gib board, that particular sheet that they were doing was brace-line. That all helps with the strengthening of the house, so it’s quite tricky in terms of what you’ve got to remember with screwing off sheets – it’s all part of the job.

Clinton: On a residential job, the owners could still be living onsite while the building work goes on.

Tim: We have to be mindful that this is their house, we have to respect that – we treat it like it's our own home.

Clinton: Communicating with clients and keeping them informed about the progress of a job, means that builders need good people skills as well as building skills.

Clinton: With the gib cut and lined up with the joins, it's ready to be tacked onto the wall.

Sheldon: So how have you found your apprenticeship so far?

Kieran: It’s great fun, eh…

Sheldon: Yeah?

Kieran: Yeah. Once you start learning and gaining the trust of your colleagues and that you get good jobs and you end up doing things like these and you know, you can leave work at the end of the day and be like, “yeah I did that!” and go and tell your parents or whatever and get a good sense of achievement. That’s what I love about it.

Clinton: Visiting the site today is training advisor Mark Peters, from the Building and Construction ITO.

Mark: The New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry is the qualification that the trainees get at the end of their training. To actually start the training off they need to be employed by a builder or a carpenter. I will come and visit the trainee every three months. They’re getting real experience – on site experience – and they learn, quite importantly too, the interaction with a lot of other trades people.

Clinton: As Sheldon is soon to find out you’re not on the tools all the time…

Tim: This is your new… new best friend. I’ll get you to clean up this area mate because I need to get it ready for the painters.

Sheldon: Ok.

Tim: Cheers mate.

Tim: Obviously being an apprentice, you’re earning whilst you’re learning, so I think that’s huge, and it doesn’t take you long to start earning some good money once you obviously start getting more experienced, start taking on more responsibility on-site and then obviously once you get qualified, the world’s your oyster.

Clinton: Up on the third level Sheldon and Kieran need to nail off some weatherboards.

Richard: It’s important for builders to get qualified these days with the new regulations of building licensing. You need to be qualified to get a LBP, which is a Licensed Building Practitioner. You need that number to do work that is notifiable work, regarding the council.

Clinton: Tim is a Licensed Building Practitioner and is paid a visit by Building Inspector Steven Rose.

Steven: So for us as Building Inspectors, we go out to check on compliance, make sure that every aspect of the building complies with the codes of today. The council can then go and issue a Code of Compliance knowing the fact that it’s been checked and signed off by the building inspector.

Tim: Fantastic.

Steven: Yep.

Tim: Happy with that?

Steven: All good.

Tim: Alright.

Steven: Should we go and do the paper work?

Tim: Let’s do it.

Clinton: At the end of the day, maintaining high building standards ensures that we can all live in a healthy and safe environment.

Tim: Alright Sheldon, you’ve done a great job today mate – how have you found it on a residential site?

Sheldon: Oh I’ve found it excellent today, I mean I got a lot of experience working with Kieran, gave me a lot of input into what I was doing and when I got something wrong he would correct me, and also coming from you, too.

Tim: From what I’ve seen mate, you’ve done a fantastic job today, so if you’re interested in a career in residential building, we’ll be happy to bring you on board.

Sheldon: I’d love that.

Tim: Fantastic!


Sheldon: Cheers.

Clinton: The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation arrange apprenticeship training in carpentry. There are no specific entry requirements but you first need a job with an employer who is willing to train and support you through an apprenticeship. The NZ Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4) focuses on the key skills required to work in all strands of building. You will put in time "on the tools", learn the ropes of your trade and work with clients and other tradespeople. The amount of construction work is growing so job prospects are good.

Updated 12 Sep 2016