What is an apprenticeship

New Zealand is in need of a skilled workforce. Get qualified while you learn and earn.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a pathway to a lifelong career. You learn on-the-job, get paid and become qualified for your chosen trade.

Who should do an apprenticeship?

Anyone can do an apprenticeship. You just need to be 16 years of age or older. If you’re already working and have built up skills, you can have those skills formally recognised through a qualification.

To be considered for an apprenticeship, you have to: 

  • Be a New Zealand citizen/resident or
  • Be legally entitled to live and work in New Zealand for the duration of your training agreement period
  • Hold a current driver licence.

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

The length of time depends on how quickly you can learn on your job with your employer and your overall commitment. The average time is between 3 to 4 years.

Do you need a job?

If you want to become an apprentice but don't have a job, here's what to do…

Are you already working?

 If your current boss is interested in you becoming an apprentice, here's what to do…

  • Contact Competenz with your employer 
  • Get assigned to a Training Advisor
  • Work with your Training Advisor to sign up and plan your career
  • Start on-the-job training
  • Study to pass your unit standards
  • Become a qualified tradesperson! 

If you are still at school:

There are several ways to get a head start on your apprenticeship and career.

  • Entry from school
    Students leaving secondary school are best suited if they have studied some of the following subjects; maths, English, science, workshop and design technology, physics, graphics, chemistry, or Level 1 and Level 2 engineering unit standards.
  • Gateway work experience
    Gateway programmes provide senior secondary students with the opportunity to experience workplace learning while still at school. Students can increase their practical skills and knowledge and can use the Tools4Work resources in the classroom to continue learning and gaining mechanical engineering unit standards as part of their school study programme. Gateway also works to foster ongoing relationships between schools, students, employers and training companies.
  • Entry through tertiary education
    A pre-apprenticeship course delivered by a polytechnic or a training company is an excellent way to begin a career, and employers look favourably on any related course of study undertaken at a tertiary level. An achievement of 50 credits minimum is a good indication you will do well in an apprenticeship.