Financial assistance for employers of apprentices

The Government has recently announced additional financial support is to be made available to employers of apprentices through the Apprenticeship Support Programme, from August 2020. 

One of the new initiatives is called Apprenticeship Boost, which will provide cash assistance to employers of up to $16,000 per apprentice over the duration of the scheme, which begins in August 2020 and runs for a 20 month period.

The main objectives of the Apprenticeship Boost are to protect the job security of apprentices in their first and second years of training and to keep a flow of qualified tradespeople coming through, to help alleviate the skill shortages that have hindered many industries in recent years. 

The assistance is available to employers of first and second year apprentices, recognising that apprentices typically need a higher level of support and time invested in the earlier stages of training and developing their skills. 

Employers of existing apprentices and those that take on new apprentices within the 20 month timeframe could qualify for this initiative. Apprentices must be enrolled in a Tertiary Education Commission approved NZ Apprenticeship or a Managed Apprenticeship.

Other areas of assistance include an extension to the current Mana in Mahi programme and further support for Group Training Schemes. There is also a new regional apprenticeship scheme that will support employers to take on new apprentices, initially prioritising Maori and Pacific peoples and then opening up to all regional apprentices and employers.

Further details on the assistance available under the Apprenticeship Support Programme initiatives, including eligibility and information on how to apply, will be available in the coming weeks.


Apprenticeship Support Programme Case Studies

Pete from Pete’s Plumbing

Pete from Pete’s Plumbing  is back into work after the lockdown, he has realised he could do with another pair of hands. He’s been a bit unsure about hiring someone though, because when he crunched the numbers he found he couldn’t afford to pay a qualified person at the going rate with the number of jobs he thinks he’ll get.

If Pete takes on an apprentice, under the Apprenticeship Boost, he would qualify for assistance of $1,000 per month for the apprentice’s first 12 months of training and $500 per month during their second 12 months of training up to the end of the 20 months the initiative will run for.  That’s $16,000 in total which makes it financially viable for Pete to take on a new apprentice.


Holly's Hairdressing Salon

Holly runs a busy salon, Hair Heroes, that has three qualified stylists including herself. She also has two apprentices in her team – Hannah, a third year apprentice, and Harry who started his training in February 2020.

During the lockdown, the salon was closed and Holly was able to access the wage subsidy to help pay her team.  The salon is open again now but trade is up and down.  After the initial rush of people having their lockdown hair-dos fixed, the salon is a bit quieter again. So far revenue has not been low enough to qualify for the wage subsidy extension but Holly and her BDO adviser are keeping an eye on revenue and will apply if the salon becomes eligible.

Holly is concerned about keeping her stylists and apprentices productive and has started looking at her roster to see whether she needs to renegotiate hours with her team. The announcement of the Apprenticeship Boost has given Holly another scenario to look at.  She’s aware that because Hannah has already completed her first two years of training she won’t be an eligible apprentice, but she’s asked her BDO adviser to run a new scenario based on the assistance she would get for Harry. The salon would qualify for $1,000 per month between August 2020 and January 2021, which takes Harry to the end of his first 12 months of training.  From then onwards the assistance would be $500 per month for the next 12 months.

This would equate to $12,000 of assistance to the salon while Harry is training, made up of $6,000 for the first six months of the scheme (to the end of Harry’s first 12 months training) and $6,000 for the next 12 months of the scheme. At that stage Harry would have completed his first two years of apprenticeship training and he won’t be an eligible apprentice.


Contact your local BDO adviser for more information on the Apprenticeship Support Programme