The government has made it more affordable for employers to train people on-the-job with two years fees-free industry training through Competenz from 1 January 2018.

This means the costs usually paid by employers and apprentices in the first two years will be now be free for some people. Apprentices can check their eligibility at before signing a training agreement.

The policy came into effect on 1 January 2018 and Competenz, the industry training organisation for engineering, is already signing up apprentices who qualify for funding.

“There’s no better time to take on an apprentice,” says Chief Executive Fiona Kingsford. “For people already working in the industry who haven’t completed tertiary training before, it’s an opportunity to start getting qualified at no cost.

Competenz Engineering Apprentice Paul Taurima at Foot Engineering, Napier.

“Your staff will grow their skills and knowledge and gain NZQA-recognised qualifications endorsed by industry while learning on-the-job.”

Data from economic research organisation Infometrics indicates that approximately half of the engineering workforce does not have a post-school qualification. Of those that do, only a fifth have completed an apprenticeship, and approximately 6% have completed a degree. A trained and qualified workforce is critical for responding to the rapidly advancing technological revolution, succession planning and economic prosperity.

“It’s no secret that there is a skills shortage in New Zealand. We are here to support businesses who want to grow their workforce and upskill their people, and it’s a great time to find out how we can help.”


Who is eligible for fees-free training?

Anyone who has not undertaken previous tertiary study or training worth more than 60 credits is eligible for fees-free industry training. Check eligibility at or call 0800 687 775.


Which engineering programmes are eligible for fees-free funding in 2018?

  • National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering
  • National Certificate in Engineering Fabrication


Want more information?

For any questions about apprenticeships and industry training, call Competenz on 0800 526 1800.

Update shared by our Manager Marketing & Communications Kim Nugent