Fees free for industry training
What is Fees Free?
In 2018 the Government introduced a scheme to encourage more New Zealanders into formal training, study or learning. Many formal qualifications are free for learners for one or two years, depending on the qualification. Certain eligibility criteria exist around the types of qualifications that are eligible for the Fees Free scheme.
All Government information on Fees Free can be found at www.feesfree.govt.nz
Learners starting their industry training journey may be eligible to receive Fees Free support for their first 24 months of their training programme (Fees Free support is capped at $12,000 incl GST per learner).
Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)
The TTAF ended on 31 December 2022. Study or training you did that was covered by the TTAF will not affect your eligibility or entitlement to Fees Free. If you have started using Fees Free prior to using the TTAF, you’ll be able to continue to access Fees Free if you have remaining entitlement.
Who is eligible for Fees Free?
You can check whether you are eligible for Fees Free by using the eligibility tool at www.feesfree.govt.nz
To be eligible for fees-free industry training, a trainee must be legally entitled to reside and work in New Zealand.
The learner must also have either:
- been enrolled in a school in or after 2017, other than as an adult student, or
- not undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education (0.5 EFTS or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the NZQF, including tertiary education at an equivalent level undertaken in any country.
The following credits must not be included in measures of prior tertiary education to determine eligibility for fees-free:
- any tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult student), and
- any tertiary courses undertaken as part of the student’s or trainee’s school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019, and
- any credits achieved as part of any industry training programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
The learner must also enrol in an eligible industry training programme.
The following do not count as prior study or training:
- Tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult learner).
- Tertiary courses undertaken as part of your school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019.
- Credits achieved as part of any work-based programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
- Any courses or credentials funded by the TEC undertaken after 1 January 2023 that had zero tuition fees and zero compulsory course costs.
- Tertiary education and training for which fees were covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF).
- Tertiary education undertaken through the Youth Guarantee programme after 1 July 2020.
- Tertiary education undertaken through the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training programme after 1 July 2020.
- Tertiary education undertaken through the Refugee English Fund.
What is Covered by FEES FREE?
Learners heading into Industry Training are funded for the first two years of study. This covers;
- Connexis qualification fee
- Assessment fees
- Provider fees (Block course costs)
- Resource cost
What’s NOT covered: Costs such as travel, meals and accommodation to attend block courses.
What Connexis qualifications are eligible for Fees Free?
- at NZQF level 3 or above, and
- approved by New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), and
- comprised of at least 120 credits (which includes all New Zealand Apprenticeships), and
- not part of a school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme.
Is an Advanced Portfolio Assessment (APA) candidate eligible?
Yes, APA candidates are eligible as long as the eligibility criteria are met.
Can a third party fill out the Statutory Declaration form on behalf of a potential learner?
No, the learner is responsible for filling out the form and getting it witnessed and signed by the appropriate authority (such as a JP) as per TEC conditions.
What happens if a learner puts their study on hold or withdraws, does the timer on the two years fees free stop?
The Fees Free period starts for an eligible learner and ends 24 months from that date. The timer does not ‘stop’ during this period.
If a learner gets a “MAYBE” or ‘NO’ response to fees free eligibility can they appeal?
If a learner receives a ‘no’ answer they can appeal. TEC have a dispute process in place but only the learner can appeal the decision. They must fill in a form and have it signed by the appropriate authority (such as a JP) as per the TEC conditions.