Apprenticeship Scholarship Trust

The AST is a trust to support Apprentices in times of hardship, and is kindly supported by Certified Builders Association regions, ITM and Fletcher Aluminium and other stakeholders.

How it all started…

In 2002 at the Northland Polytechnic in Whangarei there was an Apprentice that was attending his second 2 week block course as part of his second year of training. His employer was not paying him to attend his block courses and he was not in a good financial situation, but was very keen to complete his Apprenticeship and become a qualified tradesman and too proud to confess that he was short of money.

He was so keen that he drove his van down from Kiataia to Whangarei about 170kms and had used up most of his money on petrol to get to his block course.

When he arrived at Tech he parked his van in the car park at the end of the Carpentry building and this is where he lived and slept for 2 weeks while attending his course.  He lived on bread and spread and a hot drink that he made himself in the little kitchen at the end of the workshop.

It was not until Thursday on the second week that I found out what he was doing as one of his tutors I was shocked to think what he was doing. I could have given him a bed at home and dinner.

I then recited this tail to one of the Certified Builders board members over a couple beers in the north and he, like me was shocked to think that an Apprentice would go to these lengths to get his qualifications. His comment to me was “if they are this keen to complete their apprenticeship then surely the CBA can help and support them in some way”.

The concept of forming a trust to support Apprentices was taken to the next CBA board meeting where each area/region was asked to do something to raise money for the trust.

The Far North ran their annual trade show and Auckland raised a large amount of money by holding a Builders Golf Tournament at Waitangi, all the profit from this went in to the fund and that was enough to set the ball rolling.

With thanks to the trust, Apprentices throughout New Zealand are now able to become qualified trades people with some of the hardship and hurdles made easier.  (The trust is a registered charity so we gratefully receive donations.)

AST Background:

Certified Builders Association of New Zealand Incorporated wishes to:

  • promote and provide pathways in industry training;
  • provide scholarships for training;
  • provide a general fund for those in need to undertake training;
  • provide for general advancement of education of apprentices and other persons within the industry.

For more information on ITAB – Industry Training Association BUILDING, click here.