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Government announces subsidy for employers training apprentices

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The Government has announced a new support scheme, Apprenticeship Boost, which will provide businesses with up to $16,000 to help pay the cost of each apprentice for the first two years.

The apprenticeship support scheme, Apprenticeship Boost, is part of a wider government programme, announced on budget day, to keep apprentices in jobs and support employers to invest in new ones, as we rebuild the economy from the impact of COVID-19. 

The Government has budgeted $380.6 million for Apprenticeship Boost. From August 2020 and up to April 2022, up to an estimated 18,000 employers will be able to apply for funding of up to $12,000 per apprentice in their first 12 months of training, and up to $6,000 in their second 12 months.

The Ministry for Social Development will be responsible for administering the scheme.

Apprenticeship Boost is a cornerstone of the Government’s Apprenticeship Support Programme, Chris Hipkins said. Employers of apprentices will also have targeted financial support available from three other schemes depending on the circumstances:

  • Extending the existing MSD Mana in Mahi scheme ($30.3 million) for at risk people into long-term sustainable work
  • A new regional apprenticeship scheme which will invest in new apprenticeships in regional New Zealand and particularly support displaced workers and Maori and Pacific peoples into jobs,
  • $19 million to support the seven existing Group Training Schemes to continue to employ some 1,700 apprentices and trainees and provide related services to host businesses.

More information:

Q+A for Apprentice Boost

When does it start?
The programme will be implemented from August 2020 and it will run for 20 months

How much do employers receive for having an apprentice? The initiative runs for 20 months, with an employer getting $1000 per month for a first year apprentice and $500 per month for a second year apprentice.

This means an employer could get a maximum of $16,000 for an apprentice who is starting their training (12 months at the first year rate, and 8 months at the second year rate). Employers will receive $12,000 per full year of training for each first year apprentice, and $6,000 per full year of training for each second year apprentices. They may receive less than the full year amount depending on where in their training each apprentice is. For example, if a first year apprentice is already 9 months into their training, they will receive 3 month’s support at the $12,000 per year rate (i.e. $3,000) before shifting to the second year rate of $6,000 per full year of study.

How is an employer eligible? An employer will be able to receive this support if they employ an eligible apprentice (i.e. one that is enrolled in a Level 4 New Zealand or Managed Apprenticeship programme, and is in the first or second year of this apprenticeship).

Will there be priority industries that are eligible? No. There are no priority industries for this support.

How will the funding be used? This support is a wage subsidy paid to the employer per eligible apprentice. The employer is required (by law) to continue to pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage or training wage. The employer will therefore top up this subsidy amount and continue to pay the apprentice the wage they are legally entitled to.

Can an employer with existing apprentices apply? Employers can apply for Apprenticeship Boost whether an apprentice has just started their training programme or is nearing the end of their first two years – right up until the apprentice has completed 24 months of their training programme (while the initiative is running).

Are ServiceIQ Apprenticeships included?
Yes, all apprenticeships are included. This includes:
• NZ Apprenticeship in Cookery
• NZ Apprenticeship in Food & Beverage
• NZ Apprenticeship in Catering Services
• NZ Apprenticeship in Aeronautical Engineering
• NZ Apprenticeship in Aviation Aeronautical Engineering
More information about ServiceIQ Apprenticeship programmes can be found here

How do I apply?
More details will be available in the coming weeks at

Who can I talk to about ServiceIQ’s apprenticeship programme and Apprenticeship Boost?
If you already have a ServiceIQ Sector Advisor, you can talk to them. Alternatively, you can email or call 0800 863 693

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