Grow your career
FREE Apprenticeships and Training
The list of programmes eligible for Free Trades Training is available to view here. Please note, this is not a full and final list and will be updated during 2020. If you have any questions regarding whether your current or anticipated training is covered by the Free Trades Training fund, 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 within the duration of the training. 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.
Currently employed and already enrolled with us? You may be eligible for a refund of fees that you have already paid. Please see the frequently asked questions below for more information
Looking for employment? Click here to see options available in many of our primary industries.
Not currently employed and interested in an apprenticeship?
There are apprenticeships available that can connect 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 maybe eligible for a subsidy. Click here to learn more.
*Conditions: Free Trades Training applies for training during 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022. Only eligible programmes accessible by the link above apply. Annual fees may also apply for training continuing after 1 January 2023. Normal training agreement conditions also apply upon enrolment.
Currently employed and want more detail about our agriculture and horticulture programmes?
- Amenity (parks and gardens)
- Apiculture (Beekeeping)
- Arboriculture (Tree surgery)
- Fruit production
- Indoor Crop
- Nursery production
- Outdoor vegetable
Frequently Asked Questions – Free Trades Training
Am I eligible for Free Trades Training?
If you study with Primary ITO, you won’t have to pay for any of our apprenticeships, and for most of our NZ certificates, at levels 3 and above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
How long will my fees be covered for?
Free Trades Training will cover training fees from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.
Do I need to apply to the fund to get my training paid for?
No. Learners do not need to apply for Free Trades Training. If you are enrolled in an eligible training programme, then your fees will be automatically covered. Primary ITO will not need to ask you to pay.
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 previously have had to pay to Primary ITO for training and assessment. Some other costs of training like accommodation and travel on a field trip are not covered.
Can I still benefit if I am already studying or have paid my fees for 2020?
If you have already enrolled or started an eligible programme that is continuing past 1 July 2020, then your fees will be partly covered. This means your training will be free for the part of the programme that happens after 1 July, and you may receive a part-refund.
If you are in a programme that started just before 1 July 2020, the training for this slightly earlier start date may also be covered.
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.
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. However, the fees will be paid by the Tertiary Education Commission and not by the trainee or the employer (for up to the first 20 months of an apprenticeship).
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 programme eligible for the new Free Trades Training, you will continue on Fees Free until your eligibility expires.
Is the new 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.
What does the Apprenticeship Boost entail for employers?
For more information click here.