Government support and funding

The Government is committed to investing in apprenticeship training to support our skills pipeline in New Zealand.


If you’re a learner starting one of our programmes or an employer who pays for your staff’s training, the Government may cover some of your fees through Free Trades Training. 

If you’re an employer paying providers directly to train your employees in eligible Primary Services and Food Processing programmes, you can reclaim some costs through Free Trades Training. 

If you’re an employer taking on apprentices through our programmes, you may be eligible for the Government’s Apprenticeship Boost. 

The Government covers a portion of the training fees for most programmes from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022. This is Free Trades Training, also known as the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund. 

Find out which programmes are eligible for Free Trades Training [PDF, 171KB].

Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (Free Trades Training) 

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.  

You do not need to apply for Free Trades Training 

If you’re enrolled in an eligible programme, the fund will automatically cover your fees costs for training that occurs between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022. 

You can get Fees Free Training even if you have previously trained in tertiary levels 3 to 7.  

Free Trades Training covers all fees for training and assessment 

If you train in one of our eligible programmes, Free Trades Training covers a portion of the  fees for training and assessment up until 31 December 2022.  

Free Trades Training does not cover some other costs of training, like accommodation and travel on field trips. 

Free Trades Training is signed up for on our standard training agreements.  The agreement includes the standard minimum of 10 credits achieved in the first four months of training, plus other standard requirements.   

Free Trades Training can cover fees for non-New Zealand residents 

If you’re not a New Zealand resident, Free Trades Training will cover a portion of your fees if you meet the conditions of a training agreement.  

If you’re in New Zealand on a work visa, Free Trades Training will cover a portion of your fees if your programme finishes before your visa expires. 

Free Trades Training does not affect the sign-up process for New Zealand Apprenticeships 

The sign-up process for New Zealand Apprenticeships will be the same as it is currently. The training agreement will still state that fees may be charged.

You can get Free Trades Training even if you’re already training under the Fees Free scheme 

If you’re on the Fees Free scheme and training in a programme that’s eligible for Free Trades Training, your fees will be automatically covered under Free Trades Training. Your Fees Free entitlement will pause, and you will be able to use it later. 

If you’re on the Fees Free scheme and are in a programme that’s not eligible for Free Trades Training, you’ll stay on the Fees Free scheme. 

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.


Fees Free 

If you are a first-time learner you may be able to get up to two years’ training fees free. 

Learn more and discover if you are eligible for Fees Free.


Reclaiming costs if your employees are training in Primary Services and Food Processing programmes 

If you’re an employer paying providers directly to train your employees in eligible Primary Services and Food Processing programmes, you can reclaim some costs through Free Trades Training. You can reclaim costs for PTEs, affiliated training providers and independent assessors. 

You cannot reclaim costs for using your own workplace trainers and assessors. 

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]


Apprenticeship Boost 

If you’re an employer taking on apprentices through our programmes, 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 2023. From 5 August 2022, there's a change to the amount of funding for first-year apprentices. Up until 5 August, there is a $1000 per month payment for a first-year apprentice however this changes to $500 a month after 5 August.  Second-year remains unchanged at $500 a month.

You can get Apprenticeship Boost at any point within your apprentice’s first 2 years of training. 

Apply for Apprenticeship Boost through Work and Income 

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