Tips for new tertiary learners and apprentices

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

Are you looking for a new job because you've lost your current one? 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

If you’re doing tertiary study or training you may be eligible for the Fees Free initiative.

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.

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 11 Jul 2024