Work based learning

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship allows you to get a formal qualification and hands-on experience while working and getting paid. An apprenticeship is not an internship. While there are some similarities between the two, an apprenticeship is usually three to four years. Once you have completed your apprenticeship training, you’ll end up with an NZQA qualification recognised around the world, and you can be fully qualified within three to four years.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, an apprenticeship can be a smart first step towards becoming your own boss. And your qualification will also be globally recognised, meaning you have the potential to find work all over the world.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Anyone can do an apprenticeship if they’re aged 16 or older. You might be leaving school, or you might be already working. You might even be able to train as an apprentice with your current employer. If you’re already working and have built up some skills, you can have them formally recognised as part of your training.

If you want to do an apprenticeship, you need to:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen or resident OR
  • Be legally entitled to live and work in New Zealand for the duration of your training agreement period
  • Hold a current driver licence.

The best part? Earn while you learn — there's no student loan

You’ll get qualified without a student loan, all while learning practical skills from industry experts. You can put that money towards something else you really want – might be a new car, new tools or a new house.

How long does an apprenticeship take?

It depends on how quickly your employer can teach you, how fast you learn and how committed you are. The average time is three to four years.

How it works

An apprenticeship is work-based learning where your employer trains you. So the first step is getting employed in your chosen industry, and then it goes like this:

  • Contact Competenz with your employer
  • Get assigned to a Training Advisor
  • Work with your Training Advisor to sign up and plan your career path
  • Start on-the-job training
  • Study to pass your unit standards
  • Become a qualified tradesperson!

Apprenticeships available now

We help good employers hire apprentices. Check out all the apprenticeship jobs we have available around the country.

Jobs available now

Industries we serve

We provide training in 37 sectors across New Zealand from engineering, signmaking and printing through to bakery and textile manufacture.

View industries