Apprenticeships are where you “earn while you learn”. Majority of the training is “on-the-job”. On completion apprentices gain one or more national certificates and become qualified in the associated trade. In New Zealand currently there is a high demand for apprenticeships in a range of different industries.


There are three parties to a New Zealand Apprenticeship – the apprentice, employer and industry training organisation.  Each has unique responsibilities.

  • The responsibility of the apprentice is to work and learn.
  • The responsibilities of the employer are to train and support the apprentice.
  • The responsibilities of the industry training organisation are to facilitate the training, and support both the apprentice and the employer throughout the apprenticeship.

The Industry Training Organisations representatives are all interested in helping young people gain an apprenticeship and are keen to connect with you whilst you are at school.

They can be a good contact as you are seeking employment and can recommend you to employers they already work with, or with employers know they know are seeking an apprentice.

You will be able to make contact with Industry representatives at the Careers Trade Show or the Careers Road Show when they come to school (usually in Term 2)

The Careers NZ website offers a wealth of information about how to enter the job and lets you know exactly what is required to become an apprentice.

You can also ask around, use your contacts and make connections with  people in the industry you are interested in…..get your Curriculum Vitae (CV) ready and go door knocking.

What does a New Zealand Apprenticeship involve?

As a New Zealand Apprentice you will have to:

  • attend all courses that are part of the apprenticeship, including block courses, evening courses and day release classes. These may be offered by a polytechnic or other education provider
  • complete off-the-job assessments that are part of the polytechnic or private training establishment courses
  • complete on-the-job assessments, such as showing you can lay carpet, to gain your Level 4 New Zealand certificate.

Can I do a New Zealand Apprenticeship?

To become a New Zealand Apprentice you need to:

  • be over 16
  • work towards a Level 4 New Zealand certificate
  • enrol in an industry that offers New Zealand Apprenticeships
  • meet the entry requirements for the apprenticeship. These vary, depending on the industry, so check with the relevant industry training organisation (ITO) to find out more.

What does a New Zealand Apprenticeship cost?

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) is a government fund that will pay your fees and compulsory costs for many vocational education and training (VET) programmes. TTAF is also known as “free trades training”.

Here’s what it covers:

— For apprentices in industry training (on the job) – your training and assessment fees.
— For learners in provider-based training (study) – your programme fees and any other compulsory costs.

TTAF will pay your fees for a maximum of 30 months from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022.

New Zealand Apprenticeship fees vary, and the best way to find out about them is to talk to your employer or the Industry Training Organisation (ITO)

You may have other course-related costs for NZQA registration, training materials and support from the ITO.

What qualification will I get?

At the end of your apprenticeship you will receive a Level 4 New Zealand certificate in the area you studied. For example, a New Zealand Certificate in Seafood Processing (Level 4) or a New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering (Level 4).

What are the benefits of a New Zealand Apprenticeship?

As a New Zealand Apprentice you can:

  • earn money as you learn
  • gain professional and practical skills
  • gain one or more Level 4 New Zealand certificates, depending on the programme and industry.