Graduate Profile

Lockie McLeod - Carpentry Apprentice
Mark Dobbs - Director of md construction

Mark Dobbs - Director of md construction

Lockie McLeod - Construction

Carpentry Apprentice

 “I’m in the third year of my ITAB carpentry apprenticeship with md construction, mostly building new timber framed houses, alterations and additions, and some light commercial buildings. At NorthTec we have to complete unit standards and also attend two two-week block courses a year, for three years. We do both theory and practical projects.”

“The best part of our training is the theory because we get introduced to things that we may not get taught on site for quite some time – like door-locks, stairs and pitched roofing. The tutors teach us practical tricks plus they challenge us to build things like a ten sided flared out flower pot.”

“I directly experience the relevance of our training to what we do on the job. We’ve been introduced to a broad range of industry skills and we’re trained in how to problem solve. We also learn how to deal with clients, contractors and customers. Because the NorthTec workshops are so well equipped, we learn to competently use machinery like buzzers and digital thicknesses that we would rarely come across on site.”

“My skills were put to the test when I won the Northland Certified Builders Apprentice Challenge in 2016. We had to build a complex playhouse in eight hours. I then attended the national competition in Wellington where 11 of us from around New Zealand were competing. I didn’t receive a top 3 placing but won a big challenge where we had to design and build a push bike which is now on display at the New Zealand Certified Builders support office. We also had to give a 5 minute presentation on a job we had completed.”

“I really enjoy what I do and have the added interest of developing a vineyard near Dargaville so my construction skills come in handy for that too. At the moment I’m simply focussing on finishing each work project we have and will see what unfolds from there.” 


Employer of Lachlan McLeod

Mark Dobbs - Director of md construction

“I’m training my fifth apprentice now in the 29 years I have been in the building trade. I’m passionate about the training side of the industry and passing off my knowledge to keen guys wanting to get into the building trade. I am currently on the national board of the New Zealand Certified Builders Association, one of two building associations in NZ.” 

 “We choose the ITAB training scheme which I believe is the superior of two training schemes available to apprentice carpenters, the other being BCITO. The three guys I have working for me have all trained under the ITAB scheme with my company. One is now qualified, one is in the first year of his apprenticeship and Lockie is in his third year.”

“They are required to do unit standards and block courses through NorthTec which is completed over a three year period.  A further one year is required to complete their 8000 hours.  I believe that our ITAB apprentices come out of their time with the best possible training thanks to NorthTec. They are taught building theory in a classroom environment and get to learn and practise practical projects that are sometimes not taught on site – like how to do roofing calculations for pitches and angles in alterations and additions.”

“NorthTec training is top quality with passionate tutors, up-to-date technology and some of the best facilities in the country. We’re lucky to have tutors that have been builders themselves so they are experts in what they are teaching, they can create a real connection between themselves and the students, and they have current networks within the industry.” 

“I trained at NorthTec myself 29 years ago and I believe the ITAB training is far superior to my training because they not only complete their block courses and hours but also have to complete unit standards across the board in lots of particular tasks that ensure they have a real understanding in most aspects of building practices.”

“I’m pleased ITAB training has re-introduced the stipulation of an 8000 hour apprenticeship along with the unit standards. It sets a clear goal for the apprentices so they know when they have completed their time and the ITAB apprenticeship is held in high regard by industry. NorthTec and the ITAB training scheme is where I’ll continue to train our future apprentices.”


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