The BCITO Build-Ability Challenge

The BCITO Build-Ability Challenge is a nationwide building competition for secondary schools. The aim of the challenge is to encourage all students to think strategically and creatively as part of a team. Participating students are able to achieve BCATS unit and achievement standards as part of their BCATS National Certificates.

Find out more about BCATS National Certificates.

Students will get an idea of what it’s like to work in the construction industry through the hands-on experience. In teams of 3-10 people, they will plan, design, and build a project of their choice while sticking to a strict budget.

Community focus

Throughout the challenge, students have to consider how their project will make a difference to their community. At the end of the challenge, students will donate their projects to an organisation of their choice, or their school. Take a look at last year’s projects.

How to enter

Step 1

Set up a visit from your local BCITO Skills Broker. Simply contact your local BCITO to organise a day and time. In April, your BCITO Skills Broker will deliver your Challenge Pack and a $500 Visa Prezzy Card to put towards the school project.

Step 2

Select your team. You need to have between 3 and 10 students to participate. While technology students are ideal, we want to encourage students of all disciplines to join in.

Step 3

Choose a project. This can be a project your school is currently working on as part of the technology curriculum or something completely new. Just keep in mind that the final project must be donated to your school or another organisation in your community. Projects should be based on what your organisation needs. Have a look at past project winners to get inspired!

Step 4

Produce designs, working plans, and a timeline.

Step 5

Register your team online. Registrations open Monday 6 March 2017 and close Friday 31 March 2017. Once you’ve registered, you must email the following information to [email protected]:

  • Plans and designs of your project

  • A hi-res image of your school logo

  • Project timeline

Benefits and prizes

Participating in the BCITO Build-Ability challenge will help build your students’ technology skills while building their confidence and self-esteem. Students who have completed the challenge in previous years have grown in these key skills:

  • Self-confidence

  • Self-discipline

  • Leadership

  • Collaboration

Everyone who takes part of the BCITO Build-Ability challenge is a winner, but there are incredible prizes to be won in three categories:

Supreme Winners

Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 voucher for their school’s Technology Department

  • Individual prize packs for each of the team members

  • A trophy for their school’s trophy cabinet.

People’s Choice Award

Winners will receive a $300 ‘Team Shout’ from their BCITO Skills Broker. The school will also receive a framed certificate to display in pride of place.

Best Video Entry

Winners will receive a GoPro Camera for their school. In addition, all participants in the BCITO Build-Ability challenge will receive a Certificate of Participation.

2017 Key Dates

6 March

Registrations open!

14-25 March

Challenge Kits are delivered to participating schools. BCITO Skills Brokers will explain criteria and processes.

28 March - 20 May

Planning & design phase begins. School teams with plan and design their projects according to the criteria outlined in the Challenge Kits.

23 May - 3 June

BCITO Skills Brokers approve plans and accept entries into the Challenge’s build phase.

NB: Unapproved plans cannot proceed.

6 June

Building for approved plans begins. School teams must begin their builder’s logs this week.

20 June

The building stage of the project MUST have started by this date.

Monday 11 September

All projects must be completed. Your last builder’s log entry can be submitted now, too.

Online voting opens for People’s Choice Award

12 - 20 September

Building projects are inspected on site by BCITO.

21 - 25 September

Builder’s logs are judged alongside recommendations from the on site inspection.

22 September

Online voting closes for People’s Choice Award

26 September

Winners Announced 


We want to secondary students across New Zealand to know about the various career opportunities in the building and construction industry.

The BCITO is the biggest provider of trade apprenticeships in New Zealand. We arrange training for people to get the necessary qualifications in the following industries:

  • Brick and Blocklaying

  • Carpentry

  • Cement & Concrete

  • Exterior Plastering

  • Flooring

  • Frame & Truss Manufacture

  • Glass & Glazing

  • Interior Systems

  • Joinery

  • Kitchen & Bathroom Design

  • Masonry

  • Painting & Decorating

  • Tiling

Best of all, students can start an apprenticeship straight after school without having to go to polytech!

Find out more information about the apprenticeships to pass on to your students.

You can also contact BCITO on 0800 422 486 or [email protected]

Interested in an apprenticeship?

Get started with a work profile

If you're considering a career in building and construction, create a BCITO work profile. We'll do our best to get you an apprenticeship when you're finished school.

Register now