Now is the time to invest in skills development

Take your staff talent to the next level

Setting your business up for future success means growing new strengths in your workforce. And there’s never been a better time to do it, with free fees on all apprenticeships and targeted traineeships. You can also potentially access Apprenticeship Boost wage subsidies and other benefits to address your skills shortages and prepare your business for a new era of work.

Build your skills
We help you assess, plan, and fund training programmes, traineeships, and apprenticeships for new or existing team members.
Grow your team
Need fresh talent on your team? We can help recruit suitable candidates for apprenticeships and traineeships through our Jobseeker service
Get support
Our training advisors support you and your learners throughout their training, to ensure they develop the right skills at the right pace.

Training for your business's future

To make the most of new opportunities and growth potential, you need to align your workforce skills with your strategic direction. We can help you structure training solutions that help you upskill your people and stay on track for success.

Workforce development builds value

Developing your workforce beyond onboarding and compliance training has many benefits:

- Skill gaps are filled fast because you have a pool of trained staff who are ready to step up
- Employees have the knowledge and confidence to improve their skills, processes and outputs
- Your teams’ familiarity with the latest technologies give you a competitive advantage
- Employee satisfaction can increase due to training and upskilling opportunities.

Where do you start?

The first step in determining what sort of training programme you should run is a workforce competency assessment. Our simple skills assessment questionnaire can help get you started.

Depending on the number of staff you employ, you may need support from one of our industry training advisors to help develop your training solution.

Identifying training needs


No two businesses are the same. We uncover your business needs, look at your processes and technology, assess the standards your customers demand, and then determine what skills your team needs.

Develop a training plan


We match your workplace competencies to nationally-recognised standards and qualifications, provide access to literacy and numeracy support where needed, and develop flexible learning pathways that translate into tailored and detailed training plans.

Arrange training


We support your in-house training processes or connect you with the best external training provider for your needs.

Provide ongoing support


We provide an experienced account manager located in your region to handle the arrangements and track the progress of your staff in training.

Funding options

All apprenticeships in our 37 sectors are fees-free. There are four separate funds that have been set up to help employers train apprentices and staff.

Apprenticeship Boost

Apprenticeship Boost is a wage subsidy for employers of new and currently enrolled first and second-year apprentices. This payment is made directly to employers to support the hiring and retention of apprentices. It is available until 31 December 2023.

The first-year apprentice subsidy to employers will change to $500 per month from 5 August 2022, matching the second-year apprentices’ subsidy which will remain at $500 per month. Apprenticeship Boost is administered by Work and Income and special conditions apply.

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund

(free apprenticeships and traineeships)

Competenz apprenticeships are fees-free from 01 July 2020 to 31 December 2022 for all currently enrolled and new apprentices. This includes resources, block courses, night classes, study groups, and eLearning fees.

The fund also covers Level 3 to 7 New Zealand Certificate targeted traineeships and micro-credentials in these sectors:

  • Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology
  • Process and Resource Engineering
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Technology
  • Forestry.

The fund also covers Level 2 New Zealand Certificate targeted traineeships in these sectors:

  • Food and Beverage Processing
  • Forestry
  • Furniture
  • Manufacturing
  • Packaging
  • Plastics
  • Wood Manufacturing.

Mana in Mahi programme extension

This is a wage subsidy and other pastoral care for employers of new and currently enrolled first and second-year apprentices through Work and Income’s Mana in Mahi scheme.

The New Zealand Government has announced more funding for additional Mana in Mahi places over the new two years as part of their Budget 2022 announcement.

Regional Apprenticeship Initiative (RAI)

Under the provincial growth fund, this is a wage subsidy and additional business support of up to $40,000 per apprentice. The scheme was previously administered by Work and Income and initially focused on displaced workers and Māori and Pasifika. The RAI is now closed to new applicants, but can still be accessed by small to medium enterprises looking for up to 10 apprentices in specific regions. The funds are now administered by third-party providers whose contact details can be found here.

A partnership with Fonterra Brands New Zealand (FBNZ) saw a pilot group of 28 production team members awarded a Competenz manufacturing qualification, in recognition of their internal Autonomous Maintenance (AM) training, during 2019.
Buckley Systems
Increasing global demand for its products has resulted in Buckley Systems developing its own talent pool, with engineering apprenticeships vital to the company being able to staff its CNC machining and fabrication operations - one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
While more than 30 Competenz apprentices have trained with the company across its two sites in Penrose and Auckland Airport, there are currently 11 apprentices studying toward a range of qualifications including Toolmaking, General Engineering, Fitting and Machining, and Injection Moulding.
While more than 30 Competenz apprentices have trained with the company across its two sites in Penrose and Auckland Airport, there are currently 11 apprentices studying toward a range of qualifications including Toolmaking, General Engineering, Fitting and Machining, and Injection Moulding.

Getting the best from an apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is an investment of time, money and effort into your business. That means it is worth doing right. Here’s some practical steps for bringing an apprentice onboard:

Bring in someone new or upskill

If you’re keen to hire a new apprentice, fill out the job profile and we'll advertise the role to our Jobseeker database.

If you want to train an existing staff member as an apprentice, fill out this form and one of our industry training advisors will help with learner contracts, learning programme enrolments, and  funding arrangements.

Plan for their time away from work

Apprenticeships and traineeships deliver most of the training on-the-job. However some training in certain apprenticeships is provided off-site. Typically staff are away for 2-3 weeks and this is organised with significant advance notice.

Call on us for support

Our training advisors have regular quarterly check-ins with apprentices. They also check in with the trainers and help assess an apprentice's training to ensure they are developing their skills at the right pace.

Need more advice?

If you need more information from our expert team, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. This is updated frequently. If you can't find an answer, get in touch by clicking the chat bubble at the bottom right of the screen. We are currently experiencing high demand, so answers typically take two business days.

Free apprenticeships and traineeships Q&As