Government support and funding

The Government is committed to investing in on the job training to support our skills pipeline in New Zealand. Below are the funding sources available in 2023.

Fees Free

Fees Free tertiary education and training is a policy introduced in 2018 to expand participation in tertiary education and reduce student debt in New Zealand. It is targeted towards first-time learners.

If you are a first-time tertiary learner, or your first tertiary education was covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), you may be able to get up to $12,000 of your fees covered for one year’s study or two years’ training. If you are eligible, we’ll organise payment of your fees with the Tertiary Education Commission.

The fund is for NZ citizens or a holder of a Resident Class visa.

The fund is not available for work visa holders unless they work in a sector agreement. Our learners who work in a sector agreement are not charged trainee fees.

Learn more and discover if you are eligible for Fees Free by visiting by visiting

Apprenticeship Boost

If you’re an employer taking on apprentices , you may be eligible for the Government’s Apprenticeship Boost. Apprenticeship Boost can pay you up to $12,000 across the first 2 years of an apprenticeship.

You can get Apprenticeship Boost for up to 24 months for each apprentice until the end of 2024.

You can get Apprenticeship Boost anytime within your apprentice’s first 2 years of training. An Apprenticeship Boost will be paid at $500 a month for apprentices in their first 12 months of training, and $500 a month for apprentices in their second 12 months of training.

Work and Income manages Apprenticeship Boost. Its website has more information about who is eligible for Apprenticeship Boost, and how to apply.

Learn more and apply for Apprenticeship Boost on the Work and Income website.

Work and Income also has information about other apprenticeship programmes, such as Mana in Mahi, Group Training Schemes, and the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative.

Learn more about Work and Income’s apprenticeship support programmes.

Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (Free Trades Training)

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) was to support learners to undertake vocational education and training without fees.

Free Trades Training covers a portion of the fees for training between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022.

If you’re still training in the programme after 31 December 2022, you’ll need to pay fees for that part of the training. We’ll send you an invoice when you start your programme that will run past 31 December 2022. For example, if your programme runs from June 2022 to August 2023, we’ll invoice you in June 2022 for the period of 1 January 2023 to August 2023. If you have multiple programmes within your training, we will only invoice you once you start the part of the training or programme that will continue past December 2022. Your Training Adviser will give you more information. 

Contact us or your Training Adviser to learn more about Free Trades Training

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Free Trades Training, contact us or your Training Adviser contact us.

Free Trades Training covers training from 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022

You can reclaim costs for training that occurs from 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022. The trainee must be enrolled in a programme with us that is eligible for Free Trades Training. The trainee must complete a minimum of 61 days of that training and have some unit standard results reported to NZQA by Primary ITO.

Your provider will keep charging you

Your provider will keep invoicing you at the same rate as they currently charge. If your provider increases their fees, we’ll need approval from the Tertiary Education Commission before we can reimburse you for the extra amount.

When your provider sends you invoices or credit notices, they must include:

  • trainee’s name
  • employer’s name
  • period the invoice covers
  • programme the learner is enrolled in
  • reason the trainee is withdrawing (for credit notices only).

Send us proof of payment, copies of invoices, and a signed declaration

Before we can reimburse you, you must send us proof that you have paid the provider, copies of the provider's invoices, and a signed declaration.

See an example of a declaration [PDF, 145KB]

Email the proof of payment, provider’s invoice, and your declaration in a single electronic document to [email protected].

Contact us to learn more

If you want more detail about our Primary Services and Food Processing programmes, email [email protected].