When it comes to training in our industry, most people have heard about the BCITO and have a broad understanding of our role. Here we delve into a bit more detail around what the BCITO is, what we do, and how this fits into the world of concrete.

Central to our role is engaging the building industry in New Zealand to create, promote and administer relevant qualifications which aim to lift skills standards and increase productivity.

The BCITO is also leading a national skills strategy which aims to lift productivity in the wider construction sector by 20 per cent by 2020. Training obviously becomes very important when increased productivity is the goal.

All this is done through the BCITO’s managed apprenticeship programmes, where training occurs on site and is supplemented by some theory learning too. The BCITO develops the training programmes in consultation with industry advisory groups, and also produces resource materials and manuals. Around eighty five Training Advisors visit building sites across the country to ensure all is going to plan, and to conduct the apprentice’s assessment in consultation with their employer.

The BCITO also manages apprenticeships for carpentry, tiling, frame and truss manufacturing, interior systems, exterior plastering, brick and block laying and masonry. The BCITO is therefore the largest construction related industry training organisation in New Zealand, with over 5,500 apprentices as at August 2012. Nearly 300 apprentices are currently working towards BCITO concrete qualifications.

All qualifications are designed for both people who are just starting in the industry, or for those already working in it.

National Certificate in Concrete Core Skills (Level 2)

This base level programme is designed to be relevant to all sectors of the concrete industry. It also enables entry into any of the specialised Level 3 and 4 concrete qualifications, and offers some elective choices. Broadly speaking, the qualification covers areas such as materials and proper handling, tools, testing, health and safety, forklift driving and handling construction equipment.

National Certificate in Concrete Production (Level 3)

This qualification covers the core skills and knowledge of batching including hazard identification and safety, first aid, industry practices, concrete materials, use and maintenance of equipment, handling of orders and production of ready-mixed concrete and concrete testing. It builds on the National Certificate in Concrete Core Skills, and shares common content with other concrete qualifications, allowing skills to be transferred.

The BCITO also offer the following concrete qualifications:

  • National Certificate in Concrete Product Manufacture (Masonry Product, Level 3)
  • National Certificates in Concrete Construction (Placing and Finishing, Level 3) & (Sawing and Drilling, Level 3)
  • National Certificate in Precast Concrete (Level 3)
  • National Certificate in Concrete Construction (Level 4)

The Mandatory Review of Qualifications

In 2009 the NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) decided that too many overlapping and possibly unnecessary qualifications and local courses had been developed and approved since the Qualifications Framework was established in 1991. NZQA ordered a complete overhaul entitled the Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ).

As part of TRoQ a series of mandatory review processes has been directed. Along with all other trades the concrete qualifications are wrapped up in this review, which has been a heavy focus for the BCITO qualifications team over the past eighteen months. This has disrupted business as usual for the BCITO and has made it more difficult to implement upgrades to existing concrete qualifications.

Changes to the names and number of qualifications are likely as a result of the Government’s review. However, the actual content will remain largely unchanged, and the apprenticeship training process is here to stay for the time being. Keep an ear to the ground as the BCITO will announce updates as required.

For any enquiries around BCITO qualifications, simply contact the BCITO on 0800 422 486. If necessary, a BCITO Training Advisor will meet with you to discuss your options.

Taken from the October 2012 NZRMCA Newsletter

Images – BCITO