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 trainees of all ages.
  • The fund is available to support all trainees 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 trainee/employer. Including:

  • Enrolment fees
  • Course fees (Annual fees)
  • Compulsory course costs including block courses
  • External assessment fees
Connexis eligible programmes

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


All compulsory training fees for TTAF eligible programmes are now fully covered.

Trainees currently enrolled in TTAF eligible programmes who commenced training with Connexis from 1 August 2019 are eligible for a pro-rata refund of their enrolment fees from 01 July 2020.  Assessment and other training fees undertaken prior to 1 July 2020 are not eligible under TTAF and not refundable.


How does assessment for TTAF programmes work?

The assessment process has not changed.  What has changed is that external assessment fees are now covered by TTAF for assessments against eligible TTAF programmes. Connexis registered assessors will now send invoices direct to Connexis.

Assessments already undertaken and paid for by customers from 01 July 2020, on eligible TTAF programmes, are eligible for a refund through Connexis.



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 6 – NZ Diploma in:
      Supplementary Credit Programmes (SCP) FOR:
      • Plant and Equipment (L3)
      Limited Credit Programmes (LCP) FOR:
      • Introduction to Infrastructure Works (L2)
      • KiwiRail Introduction to Infrastructure Works (L2)
      • Bulk Earthworks (L3)
      • General Requirements for Infrastructure Forestry Earthworks (L3)


      Level 2 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 3 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 4 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 5 – NZ Certificate in:
      Level 6 – NZ Diploma in:


          LEVEL 3 – NZ Certificate in

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

          LEVEL 4 – NZ Certificate in 
          Level 5 – NZ Diploma in:
          LEVEL 5 – NZ Certificate in 
          LEVEL 6 – NZ Certificate in:
          • Infrastructure Procurement Procedures
          LEVEL 6 – NZ DIPLOMA in:
            The following programmes are no longer available to enrol in, or are specialised programmes, where some funding may still apply


              NZ Apprenticeship in:
              • Civil Infrastructure Trades (Civil Works) with strands in Concrete Works (non-structural), Road Construction, and Road Maintenance
              • Civil Infrastructure Trades (Pipe Installations) with strands in Trenched, and Trenchless
              • Civil Infrastructure Trades (Utilities Maintenance) with strands in Water, and Stormwater and Wastewater
                  Level 3 – National Certificate in:
                  • Agrichemical Application with strands in Aquatic, Broadacre, Brush, and Total Vegetation Control
                  Level 3 – NZ Certificate in:
                  • Infrastructure Works Plant and Equipment Operation with optional strand in Specialist Plant
                    Level 4 – National Certificate in:
                    • Civil Infrastructure Health Safety and Environment (Supervision)
                    Level 4 – NZ Certificate in:
                    • Civil Works with strands in Concrete (non-structural), Earthworks, Road Construction, and Road Maintenance
                    • Pipe Installations with strand in Trenched, and Trenchless
                    • Utilities Maintenance with strands in Water, and Stormwater and Wastewater
                      Supplementary Credit Programmes (SCP) FOR:
                      • Reticulation with strands in Water, and Stormwater and Wastewater (L4)


                          Level 3 – National Certificate in:
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrical) with strand in Electricity Supply Electrician
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrician)
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrical Fitter)
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrical Technician) 
                          Level 3 – NZ Certificate in:
                          • Energy and Chemical Operations (Boiler Operation)
                          • Energy and Chemical Operations (Plant and Machinery)
                          Level 4 – National Certificate in:
                          • Electrical Engineering (Electrician for Registration)
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrical) with strand in Electricity Supply Electrician
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrician)
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrical Fitter)
                          • Electricity Supply (Electrical Technician) 
                          • Electricity Supply (Line Mechanic Distribution Live Work Stick up to 66kV)
                          Level 4 – NZ Certificate in:
                          • Energy and Chemical Field Operations with strands in Geothermal Operations, Process Plant Equipment, and Steam Plant
                          Level 5 – National Certificate in:
                          • Electricity Supply (Line Mechanic Distribution Live Work Glove and Barrier up to 33kV)
                          Level 5 – NZ Certificate in:
                          • Energy and Chemical Plant Control Room Operations with strand in Steam Generation Plant
                            Limited Credit Programmes (LCP) for:
                            • Electricity Supply Line Mechanic – WTC


                            NZ Certificate in:
                            • Water Treatment with strands in Drinking-Water, Drinking-Water Multistage Processes, Wastewater, and Wastewater Multistage Process

                            APPRENTICESHIP SUPPORT PROGRAMME

                            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:

                              The Apprenticeship Boost is available if your apprentices are:

                              • actively training through a transitional Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or a provider
                              • training for a New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
                              • in their first 24 months of training (this includes any previous apprenticeship enrolment with the same transitional ITO or provider).
                            • 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.

                            Maori Trades and Training Fund

                            The Māori Trades Fund previously called the Māori Apprenticeships Fund have $50m allocated over 2 years to allow for a range of approaches. This will be grant-based via MBIE and approved by the Ministers of Employment and Māori-Crown Relations. Grants may cover wage subsidies, pastoral care, support of pre-employment pathways, group training schemes and more. Capital projects might also be funded, after further consideration. Projects will need to be Māori-led.

                            Applicants should complete an expression of interest form and email it to


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