Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund
The Government will pay the fees for training between July 2020 and December 2022. Read on for conditions* and frequently asked questions.
The list of programmes eligible for Free Trades Training is available here. If you have any questions regarding whether the fees for your current or anticipated training will be covered please contact us here.
Currently employed in agriculture with a work visa and want to enrol in free training? As a visa holder you can enrol and complete some eligible training if your visa is valid for the duration of the training. As a work visa holder, your fees are only covered if your training programme lasts no longer than your visa. Click here to view the eligible programme list or contact us here to talk to your local Training Adviser.
Currently employed and want to enrol in free training or an apprenticeship? Check out the frequently asked questions below for more information and then get in touch with us so we can discuss your training needs.
Looking for employment? Click here to see options available in many of our primary industries.
Not currently employed and interested in an apprenticeship? We can provide you with information on how to find an apprenticeship, connecting you with employers and training:
Are you an employer wanting to know more about the Apprenticeship Boost? If you are taking on an apprentice or have one currently, you may be eligible for a subsidy. Click here to learn more.
*Conditions: Free Trades Training applies for training from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022 only. Only eligible programmes accessible by the link above apply. Fees apply for training continuing after 1 January 2023. Normal training agreement conditions apply upon enrolment.
Frequently Asked Questions – Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (Free Trades Training)
1) How long will fees be covered for?
Free Trades Training will cover the training fees for training between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022.
If the training programme continues into 2023, fees will apply to that part of the training. Fees will begin when the learner starts the part of the programme that will extend beyond December 2022.
2) Do I need to apply to the fund to get my training paid for?
No, learners do not need to apply. If you are enrolled in an eligible training programme, then the Fund will automatically cover the portion of your fee costs for the training that occurs between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022. If you are still training in the programme in 2023, Primary ITO will charge you fees for that part of the training. When you commence the part of your programme that will extends past 31 December 2022, we will send you an invoice.
3) When will I be invoiced for the training?
If your programme goes longer than 31 December 2022, you will be invoiced for the amount due when you enrol or when you commence the part of your programme that will extend past 31 December 2022.
If you are enrolled in a complex apprenticeship (ie you have multiple programmes within your training), you will not be invoiced until you start the part of the training or programme that will continue past December 2022. Your Training Adviser will explain this to you.
4) What fees are covered?
If you train in one of the eligible programmes with Primary ITO, Free Trades Training covers all the fees that you (or your employer) would otherwise have to pay to Primary ITO for training and assessment up until 31 December 2022. Some other costs of training like accommodation and travel on a field trip are not covered.
5) Will the Government cover the fees for non-New Zealand residents?
Yes. Free Trades Training will also pay the training fees of non-residents providing they meet the conditions of a training agreement. This includes both permanent residents and work visa holders – provided the programme can be finished during the period of the visa.
6) What’s the sign-up process for New Zealand Apprenticeships going to look like?
The sign-up process for New Zealand Apprenticeships will be the same as it is currently, and the training agreement will still state that fees may be charged.
Free Trades Training will automatically cover the portion of your fee costs for the training that occurs between 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.
Primary ITO will charge for training continuing into 2023. When you commence the part of your programme that will extend past 31 December 2022, you will be invoiced.
I am already training under the Government’s existing "Fees Free" scheme? Can I use this new Free Trades Training instead?
Yes. The Tertiary Education Commission will automatically pay for your training under the new Free Trades Training instead. That means your remaining “Fees Free” entitlement is paused and can be used later.
If you are currently on the existing Fees Free scheme, and are not training in a programme eligible for the new Free Trades Training, you will continue on Fees Free until your eligibility expires.
7) Is the “Free Trades Training” funding eligibility criteria the same as for "Fees Free"?
No. The eligibility for Free Trades Training is wider than for Fees Free. It is available even if you have already trained in tertiary levels 3-7 previously. Additionally, you may even be eligible for “Fees Free” after you’ve used “Free Trades Training” funding, as your Fees Free is paused for the duration of your Free Trades Training. We know this is confusing but your Training Adviser can explain it!
8) What does the Apprenticeship Boost entail for employers?
For more information click here.
Currently employed and want more detail about our agriculture and horticulture programmes?