Tips for new tertiary learners and apprentices

A young man and woman stand in front of beer vats inspecting a glass of beer.

Gain the skills and confidence to move into a new job with study or training.

Are you looking for a new job because the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your work?

Getting a qualification or occupational training are great ways to upskill and gain confidence for a new job.

Here are some useful tips if you’re thinking about studying or training.

Choose your study or training carefully

Compare course providers and the different courses available to decide which qualification or training to go for.

Try to align your course with your existing skills and job experience to boost your chances of getting a new job.

If you’re looking to change your career you could try learning a new subject or skill.

Think of tertiary education or training as a new beginning and a career progression. Forget your previous experiences of school or learning if they are negative, and make a positive new start.

How to fund your study or training

You could get one year of study or two years of training for free if you meet the Fees Free programme eligibility criteria. However, you’ll need to fund the rest of the course yourself if it runs for longer.

If you need a student loan, get advice from Studylink, your study or training provider, family/whānau or friends before applying as you’ll need to pay it back when you start working.

You could also undertake vocational education and training without fees with the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF). This fund will cover all apprenticeships and specific areas of Level 3-7 sub-degree programmes from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.

How to fit study or training around your personal life

Choose flexible options for study such as online learning or part-time study if they work better for you.

If you start studying or training full time and you’re finding it’s too much work, move to part time or distance learning if you can.

Study and training providers list flexible learning options on their websites.

Get support or tutoring help

If you find studying or training challenging don’t be afraid to seek help.

Talk to student services if you need general studying advice or help with tutoring.

If you need to refresh your skills before starting a course, many organisation offer free courses such as:

  • literacy, language and numeracy (reading, writing, numbers, spelling, communicating)
  • work readiness
  • financial skills
  • digital and computer skills
  • healthy lifestyle skills.

Join a student group to connect with others

To meet other students and find study partners, there are a range of social groups you can join such as:

  • mature student networks
  • apprenticeship forums
  • Pacific student groups
  • women’s student groups
  • student clubs.

Find out more


  • Literacy Aotearoa, ‘Learn with us’, accessed May 2020, (

Updated 25 Nov 2020