Fabricators manufacture steel components and structures used anywhere from a kitchen sink to a skyscraper.


We provide training plans, qualifications and support tailored to your specific business needs.

What do we offer?

Competenz works with industry experts to develop nationally recognised qualifications, mapping the skills needed and registering them with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Our team develop training plans to make it easy for you to grow your employee’s skills and productivity.

You will be assigned a Competenz account manager who will:

  • Visit your business and your apprentices regularly throughout the year 
  • Structure training into manageable chunks of learning 
  • Set deadlines with apprentices to complete assessments (in full consultation with employers) 
  • Co-ordinate access to online learning and arrange block courses 
  • Assist apprentices to successfully complete their training programme.

As an employer, you need to become familiar with your apprentice’s training programme and targets, and provide them with plenty of opportunities to develop and practise the required skills.

Qualifications available

This qualification represents a set of foundation skills for mechanical engineering and related trades. The qualification may be used as the first stage of an apprenticeship or as the basis for pre-trade courses. It is particularly relevant for people wishing to pursue careers in general engineering, machining, toolmaking, fitting, engineering maintenance, engineering fabrication, and marine engineering.

Holders of this qualification have the following skills and knowledge relevant to the mechanical engineering industry:

  • health and safety;
  • trade mathematics and mechanics;
  • metals and other materials used in engineering;
  • fasteners and assembly;
  • sketching;
  • measurement;
  • engineering tools;
  • machining or fabrication operations; and
  • welding safety and procedures.

This qualification leads to trade qualifications in mechanical engineering and engineering fabrication at levels 4 and 5 on the NQF, and ultimately to the National Diploma in Engineering (Level 6) with strands in Mechanical Engineering, Production Engineering, and an optional Practical Endorsement strand.

NZQA qualification overview

This qualification has been developed by leading New Zealand fabrication engineers to equip staff with the skills and knowledge to work productively and safely.

With technology and automation rapidly driving change in the engineering sector, this qualification is designed with the future in mind so your people can respond and adapt to change.

Most of the learning is practical work completed on-the-job. Apprentices are also required to complete eLearning via our online learning platform Canvas, and attend block courses for two to three weeks each year.

Speak to your training advisor or account manager for details on programme and resource pricing.

All graduates will be able to:

  • Understand relevant health and safety legislation and workplace safety culture
  • Interpret drawings and specifications and use the appropriate materials, processes, tools and equipment for the task 
  • Apply knowledge of relevant fabrication principles and practices, and problem solving skills, to perform engineering fabrication tasks to industry standards 
  • Safely weld to an appropriate industry standard in a commercial engineering fabrication environment 
  • Use effective and efficient processes, principles and quality systems to fabricate components and provide services in a commercial engineering fabrication environment
  • Communicate effectively within a team and the wider workplace
  • Recognise the limits of their own ability and the importance of working with integrity and maintaining currency in the engineering fabrication field.

Graduates of the Heavy Fabrication strand will also be able to:

Produce a range of heavy fabricated products, including trucks and trailers, earthmoving machinery, manufacturing equipment, and pressure vessels from heavy gauge plate, sections, and pipes using the appropriate tools and current relevant techniques.

Graduates of the Light Fabrication strand will also be able to:

Produce a range of light fabricated products such as ducting, architectural fixtures, and balustrading from light gauge sheet, sections, and pipes using the appropriate tools and current relevant techniques.

Graduates of the Steel Construction strand will also be able to:

Produce and install a range of structural steel elements for building and civil engineering projects, using the appropriate tools and current relevant techniques.


Engineering fabrication

NZQA qualification overview

Fees free eligible

The National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 5) with strands in Engineering Fabrication, Fire Protection, General and Maintenance Engineering, Mechanical Services, and Precision Engineering is for qualified engineering tradespeople who wish to further develop their technical, business, and overall leadership knowledge and skills and gain a qualification at an advanced trade level.

This qualification prepares trainees for a wide range of roles in the mechanical engineering industry at management and/or advanced technical level, and comprises three sections.

The first section is compulsory and covers skills considered core to all mechanical engineering staff working at an advanced trade level.

The second is an elective section, which allows for a wide choice of applied study in the areas of mechanical engineering, business and management. Trainees can therefore select those standards most appropriate to a particular role, for example: foreman, leading hand, supervisor, technical expert or process champion.

The third section comprises five strands, which reflect the major sectors of work within the mechanical engineering industry. These strands provide flexibility through elective standards which can be chosen to match the range of work available in the trainee''s enterprise.

Typically, the qualification will be gained during the course of an eighteen month part-time training programme.

The Engineering Fabrication strand is for those employed within the engineering fabrication industries who work with sheets, plates, sections, and pipes to produce a wide variety of metal products, machines, structures and other equipment, by cutting, forming, shaping and assembling components; or who are involved in the manufacture and installation of structural steel components for building and civil engineering projects.

NZQA qualification overview

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview