Apprenticeship & Training Programmes in New Zealand

‘Apprenticeship Boost’ has been created to get New Zealanders into skilled jobs.

With many employees displaced in the construction and trades industries following the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand and employers seeking recovery strategies, the Government has initiated funding for employers through a paid apprenticeship programme & funded workforce training in areas of need.

Over $380m has been allocated for skill development for people of all ages across nominated industries in a programme called Apprenticeship Support. Around 18,000 employers will be eligible for the programme, supporting over 35,000 apprentices each year and will be a welcome source of future skill in the Trade & Construction Industries & some other areas where skill shortages are impeding growth. There are four main sectors to the Apprenticeship Support programme as follows:

  • Apprenticeship Boost – a wage subsidy system designed to help employers retain apprentices already employed and increase numbers of apprentice employees in their business.
  • Mana in Mahi – ‘pride in work’, which is focused on helping vulnerable and at risk people into industry pathways to find sustainable future work
  • Group Training Scheme (GTS) support – continued funding of the existing programme on a considered programme by programme basis of almost $20m to assist employers who were previously in this scheme and to help retain apprentices for the period immediately post lockdown (to 30 June 2021).
  • Regional Apprenticeships Initiative focused primarily on increasing skills and employment prospects for people in provincial areas.

All of these options are available for employer support with the exception of the Group Training Scheme, assuming your apprentice(s) are enrolled in an approved NZ Apprentice or Managed Apprentice Programme at Level 4 and a minimum of 120 credits.

Apprentices involved in a Group Training Scheme may also be eligible for employer funding through Mana in Mahi or Apprenticeship Boost programmes.

For the employer, employing an eligible apprentice will mean up to $12,000 subsidy in the first year and $6000 for second year apprentices – who should in theory be much more productive by the second year of employment. An additional $320m has been set aside for a targeted training and apprenticeship fund (TTAF) for undergraduates from 1 July 2020. This funding is focused on providing support to primary industries, construction & trades, mechanical engineering, road transport, electrical engineering. There is an additional focus on community care for youth and elderly, caring for those with disabilities and for victims of domestic violence.

Anyone legally entitled to work in New Zealand can access funding from TTAF, regardless of age or prior study.

These initiatives are all aimed at helping employers retain employees in post COVID recovery – and at helping displaced & vulnerable people gain skills to contribute to overall future productivity & employment. If you would like assistance in organising this for your business, please contact us.

Government Subsidised Apprenticeship Programme


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