Apprenticeship Boost extension – everything you need to know


Through Apprenticeship Boost, employers can access a subsidy of $1000 per month for first year apprentices and $500 per month for second year apprentices

In August last year, the Government announced the Apprenticeship Boost scheme. Due to have ended in April 2021, the subsidy has since been extended until August and is available for employers of new and existing apprentices.

“The Government’s extension will support trades and trades training and keep Kiwis employed,” BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.

“Businesses have responded positively to Apprenticeship Boost with record signups of apprentices in critical industries like construction.

“The extension keeps more people employed and learning important vocational skills that will help provide the necessary skilled workforce for New Zealand’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Given an apprenticeship can take four years to complete, there is a long pipeline for skills. This initiative needs to be in place permanently to make sure businesses have confidence to continue building the skills pipeline and help address the skill shortages New Zealand faced before Covid.

“This is a great example of Government and business working together to address our workforce challenges,” Hope says.

Who can get it

You can get Apprenticeship Boost if your apprentices are:

  • actively training through a transitional Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or a provider
  • training for a New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission
  • in their first 24 months of training (this includes any previous apprenticeship enrolment, including any other apprenticeships, with the same transitional ITO or provider).

Apprenticeship Boost can be paid for an apprentice who is self-employed if they’re employed or contracted by you. You need to apply for your apprentice, and you need to have a training agreement between yourself, your apprentice and your TEC approved transitional ITO or provider. If you’re self-employed, contact the company overseeing your apprenticeship. They’ll need to apply on your behalf.

You can’t get Apprenticeship Boost for your apprentice if you’re:

  • a State Sector employer
  • already getting another wage subsidy from Work and Income for this apprentice (eg, Flexi-wage, the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or Mana in Mahi)
  • already getting a payment from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for this apprentice (eg, a wage subsidy from the Māori Trades and Training Fund or a Regional Apprenticeships Initiative).

Payment rates

You can get Apprenticeship Boost for a maximum of 20 months per apprentice, and it’s paid in advance.

How much you can get depends on whether your apprentice is in their first or second year of training:

  • First year apprentices can get $1,000 a month
  • Second year apprentices can get $500 a month.

These amounts don’t include GST. If you’re GST registered, you’ll be paid the amount plus GST.

You must pay your apprentice at least the minimum or training wage.

Which year of training your apprentice is in:

If your apprentice has been previously enrolled in any other apprenticeship with the same transitional ITO (TITO) or provider, this will be counted towards their training provided by TEC.

For example: In 2020 your apprentice completed a 12 month beauty therapy course with HITO. In 2020 your apprentice also started a hairdressing course, also with HITO. If you apply for Apprenticeship Boost, you would be eligible to get $500 per month, as your apprentice is in their 2nd year of training.

How to apply

Click here to find out how to apply for your first month’s Apprenticeship Boost payment.

Your obligations

To receive Apprenticeship Boost payments, you must agree to the terms outlined in the Apprenticeship Boost Declaration. You’ll need to reconfirm each month that you are still employing your apprentice(s), they’re still in training and they still consent to their information being shared.

Information for apprentices

If you are an apprentice and your employer has claimed Apprenticeship Boost for you, you can ask for a copy of any information about you that has been supplied to Work and Income. You can request this by email at [email protected] or by calling on 0800 673 227.