Free NZ Apprenticeships from July 1


As part of the Budget 2020, New Zealand Education Minister Hon Chris Hipkins has announced that apprenticeships will be free from 1st July. The $320 million Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will aid New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19 by keeping people in the workforce and allowing the opportunity for those displaced to retrain for industry showing high demand.

The fund will cover course fees, compulsory course costs, and compulsory student services fees paid by learners or employers to TEOs.

The free apprenticeship scheme will work alongside the Employer Apprenticeship subsidy scheme, more details on this to be announced by the NZ government shortly.


Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) details:

  • Fund runs from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022
  • The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training
  • The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19
  • Apprentices working in all industries will have costs paid
  • Apprentices whose courses started earlier in 2020, but continue beyond 1 July, will be eligible for a partial refund.
  • High demand areas, including in regional New Zealand, targeted
  • In many cases apprentices, trainees and learners at tertiary providers will save between $2500 and $6500 per year.


“That means we’ve removed costs for learners, apprentices or employers – for the next two and a half years, are targeting courses and programmes that are more likely to lead to jobs. We will also be deliberate in promoting vocational education for all ages.”


Which trade apprenticeships are covered?

  • Construction, including building, plumbing, and civil engineering;
  • Manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology;
  • Electrical engineering
  • Road transport (eg heavy vehicle operator).


Removing course fees to vocational education and training for NZ trades is a welcome and inspiring move to help fill the skills gap in our industry.

For full details on the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) head over to the TEC website.


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