Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an apprentice?
- How is Modern Apprenticeships different from a “traditional” apprenticeship?
- What is an Industry Training Organisation and what is their role in apprenticeships?
- What is a National Certificate, the role of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the National Qualifications Framework (NZQF)?
- How do I become a Modern Apprentice?
- Does it cost to receive the services of a Modern Apprenticeship Coordinator?
- What are the costs involved with learning as a Modern Apprentice?
- Once an employer employs a Modern Apprentice, are they bound to employ them for the duration of the apprenticeship?
- Is an apprentice obligated to complete their Apprenticeship once they sign into an apprenticeship agreement.
- Is there any financial incentive for an employer to take on a Modern Apprentice?
- What qualifications do I need to become a Modern Apprentice?
- Are there any age limits for Modern Apprenticeships?
- How long will it take to achieve my National Certificate?
- What qualifications will I get and how do I achieve this?
- Where do I do my training?
- What is a work-place assessor?
- What are the employer's responsibilities when they take on an apprentice?
- Can any employer take on a Modern Apprentice?
What is an apprentice?
An apprentice is someone who studies for a national qualification on the National Qualifications Framework while they are working and earning in the industry in which they are studying.
Apprenticeship training takes place both on the job where it is assessed by a registered workplace assessor (who may be a supervisor or another employee or may be brought in to the workplace from outside to undertake the assessment) and off the job at a polytechnic or another training provider. The on the job training generally covers the practical component of the qualification and off the job training the more theoretical aspects.
How is Modern Apprenticeships different from a “traditional” apprenticeship?
Like a traditional apprenticeship, a Modern Apprenticeships is part of the industry training system. Modern Apprentices continue to be managed by an ITO but receive the additional services of a Modern Apprenticeship coordinator. These services are provided free of charge to the apprentice and employer.
What is an Industry Training Organisation and what is their role in apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships in New Zealand are managed by industry training organisations (ITOs). There are ITOs for each industry (eg engineering, motor, electrical etc), and each ITO manages and funds apprenticeships for their industry. ITOs are Government funded organisations, which are responsible for:
- Setting national skill standards for their industry.
- Providing information and advice to trainees and their employers.
- Arranging for the delivery of on and off-job training (including developing training packages for employers).
- Arranging for the assessment of trainees.
- Monitoring of quality training.
All industry-based apprenticeship training leads to credit and qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework.
What is a National Certificate, the role of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the National Qualifications Framework (NZQF)?
Apprenticeship training leads to National Certificates, which are nationally recognised qualifications that are designed in consultation with industry representatives to meet industry needs. These qualifications are made up of unit standards. A unit standard describes what an apprentice has to know or be able to do to be competent in a particular set of skills. Each unit standard has a level, which indicates the degree of difficulty. All national qualifications such as National Certificates are registered on the National Qualifications Framework, which is simply a way of structuring national qualifications.
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) administers the National Qualifications Framework (NZQF). Every learner gaining credits on the framework receives a record of learning. The record of learning shows which unit standards the learner has completed and which qualifications they have achieved.
How do I become a Modern Apprentice?
Get in touch with our Modern Apprenticeship contact staff at Manukau Institute of Technology or the Industry Training Organisation for the industry you wish to become a Modern Apprentice in to discuss this. It will vary from industry to industry.
Does it cost to receive the services of a Modern Apprenticeship Coordinator?
Provided you meet the eligibility criteria to become a Modern Apprentice, Modern Apprenticeship co-ordination services are made available to you and your employer free of charge. The Government will cover the cost. There will however be some costs associated with the training you receive as an apprentice.
What are the costs involved with learning as a Modern Apprentice?
The cost of your training will depend on the industry you are training in, and for more detailed information about this you will need to talk to the relevant Industry Training Organisation for your industry. Your ITO will fund part of your off the job learning and training costs. This will generally amount to about 60 to 80 percent of the total cost of your training. The remaining portion of the cost will need to be met by you or your employer, and it is up to you and your employer to negotiate this as part of your employment contract. The annual training cost for apprentices is generally less than $1000 per year. Student loans may be available to assist you to meet this cost, for more information about this visit the StudyLink web site at www.studylink.govt.nz or call 0800 88 99 00.
Once an employer employs a Modern Apprentice, are they bound to employ them for the duration of the apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a normal employment relationship, which can be terminated by either the employer or apprentice provided they comply with the requirements of relevant employment legislation. More information about this is available from the Employment Relations Service at the Department of Labour who may be contacted at www.ers.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 800 863.
Is an apprentice obligated to complete their apprenticeship once they sign into an apprenticeship agreement?
An apprentice may terminate their apprenticeship with an ITO at any time. To terminate their employment, however, an apprentice must give the amount of notice required by the relevant employment legislation.
Is there any financial incentive for an employer to take on a Modern Apprentice?
There is no direct financial incentive paid to employers to encourage them to take on apprentices. Modern Apprenticeships is designed to remove much of the administrative burden associated with taking on an apprentice, and make it easier to do so.
What qualifications do I need to become a Modern Apprentice?
No qualifications are necessary for most Modern Apprenticeship industries at Manukau. It is more important for an employer to employ the right person for their business. However, some pre-trade learning may prove advantageous in securing an apprenticeship. Apprentices must be ready to study at level 4 of the National Qualifications framework.
Please note that Modern Apprenticeships in industries not offered by Manukau Institute of Technology may have entry qualifications. For further information about this, please contact the relevant Modern Apprenticeship Coordinator organisation, a list of which is available on the Tertiary Education Commission Modern Apprenticeships web site www.modern-apprenticeships.govt.nz or by calling 0800 4 APPRENTICE.
Are there any age limits for Modern Apprenticeships?
Yes, to become a Modern Apprentice you must be aged 16 to 21 years when you sign into your apprenticeship. There are a few exceptions to these criteria, and this can be discussed with your Manukau Institute of Technology Modern Apprenticeship staff.
How long will it take to achieve my National Certificate?
This will depend on the industry you are working in and the qualification you are working towards. An average apprenticeship takes around three years. However, it's also up to you - you study at your own pace. You should remember the faster you achieve your qualification, the less fees you have to pay and the more you will earn.
What qualifications will I get and how do I achieve this?
Modern Apprenticeship training leads to National Certificates at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework. The National Certificate you attain will depend on the particular industry in which you are working.
Where do I do my training?
Training and assessment will take place both on the job, where you will learn much of the practical component of your trade, and off the job at a tertiary provider, where you will learn the more theoretical aspects.
Off the job training may occur by block course, correspondence, day release classes or night classes depending your industry, and where you choose to study. This training will be partly funded by the relevant Industry Training Organisation for your industry.
A registered work-place assessor will assess your on the job learning. Your Modern Apprenticeship coordinator and ITO representative will guide you and your employer through this process.
What is a work-place assessor?
A work-place assessor assesses an apprentice's competence for the practical on the job components of their training. A work-place assessor may be a member of staff approved by the relevant ITO, or the ITO may send an assessor to the workplace.
What are the employer's responsibilities when they take on an apprentice?
When an employer takes on an apprentice they agree to:
- Train the apprentice in the required skills, as defined in the qualification.
- Supervise on-job assessments.
- Release apprentices for off-job training when required.
An apprenticeship is the same as any employment relationship and as such an employer is required to comply with all the usual relevant employment legislation. Further information about the employment relationship is available from the Employment Relations Service at the Department of Labour who may be contacted at www.ers.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 800 863.
Can any employer take on a Modern Apprentice?
To take on a Modern Apprentice, an employer must have the scope of work required to offer the relevant on the job training necessary for the apprentice to complete their qualification. The Industry Training Organisation will assess the employer's ability to do this before signing the apprentice into an industry training agreement.