Free training and wage subsidies

Find out what Government support is available
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Want to know more about free apprenticeships and training? There’s never been a better time to earn while you learn!

Current Government initiatives include free apprenticeships, free traineeships in targeted areas, wage subsidies for employers of apprentices, and equipment for existing learners who do not have access to technology. See below for more details.

To start an apprenticeship, you need a job first. Check out our latest vacancies or how Competenz can support you no matter what stage you're at.

Free apprenticeships and traineeships

Fees Free is being re-instated from 1 January 2023. It is a Government initiative targeted at first-time learners. If you are eligible, your training and assessment will be covered by Fees Free for the first 24 months of your training. To check your eligibility, use the NSN checker tool at You will need to enter your National Student Number (NSN).

Free apprenticeships

All Competenz new and currently enrolled apprenticeship fees are currently covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), regardless of what industry sector they are in, until 31 December 2022. This also covers resources, block courses, night classes, study groups and eLearning fees. You or your employer don’t need to apply for the funding; it’s automatically applied. If you or your employer have already paid course or training fees for this time, we have issued a credit note to your employer's account, where applicable.

Free traineeships in targeted sectors

New and currently enrolled Competenz traineeships and micro-credentials in targeted sectors are also fees free under TTAF until  31 December 2022, for certain levels and qualifications.

Click below for FAQs on funding options including Fees Free.

Find out more

Apprenticeship Boost

Your employer may be eligible for a wage subsidy for new and currently enrolled, first and second-year apprentices. Employers of an apprentice who is in the first two years of their apprenticeship will be eligible for $500 per month for a maximum period of 24 months. Apprenticeship Boost is open until 31 December 2023.

Find out more on the Work and Income website.

Mana in Mahi programme

The Mana in Mahi programme offers a wage subsidy of up to $16,000 for your first year of training and wrap-around on-the-job support to help you kick start your career. This programme is administered by Work and Income.

Find out more on the Work and Income website.

Regional Apprenticeship Fund

Under the Provincial Growth Fund, this is a wage subsidy and additional business support of up to $40,000 per apprentice, paid to their employer. Businesses need to employ a worker displaced by the effects of COVID-19 who is Māori or Pasifika. This is administered by Work and Income.

Find out more on the Work and Income website.