apprenticeship and training

free trades training

Did you know the Government recently released several funds to support industry training and apprenticeships?

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF; also known as Free TRADES TRAINING)

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF; aka Free Trades Training) of $320 million was announced by the Government to encourage vocational education for everyone.

Who is eligible?
  • TTAF is available for learners of all ages.
  • The fund is available to support all learners regardless of whether they have undertaken prior study.  Those with previous qualifications, including higher qualifications, are eligible to receive this fund.
  • The fund is available for those enrolling or who are currently enrolled in eligible programmes from 01 July 2020 to 31 December 2022.
What will be covered by TTAF?

The fund is available to cover the fees normally paid by the learner/employer. Including:

  • Course fees.
  • Enrolment fees.
  • Compulsory course costs

Learners already enrolled in a course from 01 July 2020 may be eligible for a partial refund.

Connexis eligible programmes

For a list of Connexis programmes eligible for this TTAF, CLICK HERE 

Note:  Funding coverage is almost finalised and we’re delighted to confirm that TEC has agreed to increase the number of Connexis-supported programmes, including key Level 2 programmes such as Infrastructure Works (IW2) and Electrical Supply (Introductory) L2.  It’s a great outcome to see this list of eligible programmes extended, which increases the number of learners able to access free trades training. 

Furthermore,  TEC has also confirmed that the costs of assessments and block courses are covered.  We are working with TEC as to the amount eligible to be claimed and how this will be processed. Once we have had confirmation of the process from TEC we will communicate details to our customers, assessors and providers.  At that time, if customers have already paid costs that are eligible under TTAF, we will send them details on how they can get the invoice refunded.


Employer funding is available through the Apprenticeship Support Programme, in addition to TTAF. This is available for employers taking on new employees and training apprentices, in an eligible training programme, through:

  • The Apprentices Boost Initiative
  • Mana in Mahi Programme
  • Regional Apprenticeships initiative

Click for more details.


Connexis Programmes Eligible for Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Funding (TTAF)

Click the qualification for more details.


learn more about Civil infrastructure apprenticeships
    • Infrastructure Works with optional strand in Plant Operation – Including all 5 Specialisations in Bitumen Surfacing Construction, Civil, Forestry Earthworks, Pipeline Construction & Maintencance, and Piling & Deep Foundation
      • Rural Contracting (with strands in Crop Production, Harvesting, and Vegetation Control) 


      Level 2 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 3 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 4 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 5 – NZ Certificate in:
      NZ Diploma in:


      LEVEL 3 – NZ Certificate in

      Telecommunications with strands in Optical Fibre Network, and Copper Network Maintenance

      LEVEL 4 – NZ Certificate in 
      Level 5 – NZ Diploma in:


      LEVEL 6 – NZ DIPLOMA in:


      The Apprenticeship support programme is specifically to support employers to retain and bring on new apprentices. This Employer wage subsidy fund is available, in addition to the Free Trades Training (TTAF), through one of the following 3 programmes along with support for existing Group Training Schemes:

      1. The Apprenticeship Boost 

      $380.6 million broad-based wage subsidy to support employers to retain and take on apprentices.

      • Eligibility: All employers of first and second-year apprentices who are in a Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) approved New Zealand Apprenticeship or a Managed Apprenticeship.
        • The trainee can have just started their apprenticeship or be near the end of their second year.
      • Funding:
      • $1,000 per month for an apprentice who is in their first 12 months of training. 
      • $500 per month for an apprentice who is in their second 12 months of training. 
      • Applications:  Apply through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). For further details on how to apply visit the Work and Income website here
      • Dates: This wage subsidy can be claimed for a maximum period of 20 months and is available from Wednesday 5 August 2020 until April 2022.  
      2. Mana in Mahi programme

      This is an existing programme that has had $30.3 million in new funding through extension of the funding and programme criteria. The programme supports people disadvantaged in the labour market into long-term work.

      • Eligibility: 
        • The programme is currently for 12 months and will be extended to 24 months.
        • You do not need to be enrolling your employee into an apprenticeship to apply for this.
      • Funding:  Includes a wage subsidy for employers, funding for pre-employment training, ongoing access to pastoral care and incentive payments for participating employees.
        • Wage subsidy will be increased up to $16,000 for first year participants and $8,000 for a second-year participant.
      • Dates:  From August 2020 the programme support will be extended.
      • Applications:  Through Work and Income email: or call 0800 778 008
      • Click here for more information
      3. The Regional Apprenticeships Initiative

      The $40 million Regional Apprenticeships Initiative (RAI), funded through the Provincial Growth Fund, will support up to 1,000 new apprentices and their employers in regional New Zealand across a range of sectors.

      The initial focus will be on helping recently displaced workers and Māori and Pacific peoples into apprenticeships. Once that initial need has been met, the fund will be open to all regional apprentices and employers.

      The RAI allows for up to $40,000 per apprentice, which includes a wage subsidy aligned to the Apprenticeship Support Programme.

      Employers must top up their funding to ensure apprentices are paid at least the relevant minimum wage or training wage and not be accessing a wage subsidy or other similar apprenticeship support from any other source.


      • This only covers NZ Apprenticeship programmes
      • This is not eligible for existing apprenticeship trainees
      • This is not eligible for employers based in Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington.

      Click here for more information

      Group Training Schemes

      Seven existing industry-based training programmes which employ apprentices and trainees and provide related services to host employers will be provided $19 million worth of additional funding.  This funding will be provided by TEC who will be contacting the eligible schemes direct.

      If you have laid off an apprentice, you can rehire that apprentice and receive support from the Apprentice Boost initiative.

      All employers who have an apprentice will be able to receive a base subsidy rate up to $12,000 per annum for first year apprentices and $6,000 per annum for second year apprentices, through the Apprentice Boost Initiative, to a cap of $16,000 total.

      Mana in Mahi and some Regional Apprenticeship participants will get a higher subsidy to reflect the different level of need of individual apprentices (or pre-apprentice trainees) involved.


      If you have a burning question, send it through to us here and and we will reply once we have the required information available.