Apprenticeship Support Programme

Apprenticeships (and pre-apprenticeship training) provide high-quality pathways that generally lead to good long-term employment outcomes, often in skill shortage areas.  As employers deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19, it is important that we support them to retain existing and continue to bring on new apprentices. If we don’t address this, as well as affecting individual workers’ jobs, this situation may weaken the skills pipeline that we need to support our economic recovery and rebuild over the coming years.

The Apprenticeship Support Programme is a comprehensive $519.8 million package of support for apprentices and their employers designed to ensure that the jobs of existing apprentices are secure and that new apprentices continue to start training throughout the recovery from COVID-19.  This Programme will help give our people and businesses the confidence to continue to develop the skills needed for New Zealand’s economic recovery and rebuild.

The programme covers four key job-focused initiatives to support apprentices:

  • The Apprenticeship Boost – $380.6 million broad-based support for employers to keep existing apprentices and employ new ones (delivered by MSD)
  • Mana in Mahi programme - $30.3 million in new funding to expand this existing programme and increase the amount of support it provides. Mana in Mahi supports at-risk people through an industry training pathway (including apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training) and into long term sustainable work ($80.2 million total, delivered by MSD)
  • The Regional Apprenticeships initiative – $40 million investment in new apprenticeships in regional New Zealand, particularly to support displaced workers and Maori and Pacific peoples into jobs (delivered by MBIE’s Provincial Development Unit)
  • Group Training Scheme support – $19 million to support the seven existing Group Training Schemes to continue to employ apprentices and trainees and provide related services to host businesses, focusing on employers (primarily small construction businesses) who aren’t able to pay for apprentices (delivered by TEC).

Employers would be able to access support from either Apprenticeship Boost, Mana in Mahi, or the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative (depending on the type of apprentice or pre-apprentice trainee they employ).

All employers who have an eligible apprentice will be able to receive a base subsidy rate up to $12,000 per annum ($1,000 per month) for first year apprentices and up to $6,000 per annum ($500 per month) for second year apprentices through the Apprentice Boost. Mana in Mahi and some Regional Apprenticeships participants will get a higher subsidy to reflect the different level of need of the individual apprentices (or pre-apprentice trainees) involved.

 The table below lists the Cabinet Paper related to the Apprenticeship Support Programme.


Title of paper

Cabinet reference

15 June 2020 Apprenticeship Support Programme - design and implementation of the Mana in Mahi expansion and the Apprenticeship Boost Initiative [PDF, 2.5 MB] CAB-20-MIN-0280

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