Pre-trade training

How pre-trade training prepares you for an apprenticeship and working in a trade.

Who can do pre-trade training?

Pre-trade training is a good option if you:

  • tried to get into workplace training – for example an apprenticeship – but the employer was not convinced that you had enough knowledge or practical experience. Sometimes, employers will suggest the pre-trade training option to you and offer you the opportunity of work experience during your course
  • are at school and want to try a trade before you leave school
  • are interested in workplace training and want to shorten that training by gaining unit standards before you start an apprenticeship
  • want to try a certain job or industry without having to commit long term
  • want to try a variety of different things to see what job you are interested in
  • are really interested in workplace training or a New Zealand Apprenticeship and you want to show a potential employer your commitment to the industry and your willingness to learn.

What are the benefits of pre-trade training?

Benefits of pre-trade training are that:

  • you gain essential skills, which will form basic knowledge for later career progression
  • some employers prefer to hire you once you have completed pre-trade training
  • you can try an industry and find out if you like it without committing long term.

How can you get into pre-trade training?

Pre-trade training courses are mainly offered by polytechnics or private training establishments (PTEs). You can search our courses database to find out what pre-trade courses are offered, or contact training providers to see what they offer.

Still at school?

Talk to a teacher, your school's Gateway or STAR co-ordinator or career adviser about a pre-trade training course while you are still at school. You can study for NCEA and tertiary credits and discover possible career options while spending time in a workplace. 

Many tertiary education providers such as polytechnics or private training establishments (PTEs) offer open days, short courses, or other ways for you to explore tertiary study.

On open days you can watch other students showing what they have learned on their course. This gives you a chance to see other trainees in action and talk to them about how they find it. You will quickly see if the course is right for you.

What is expected of you?

At the start of the course you will get a course overview explaining exactly what is expected of you.

You will be required to:

  • attend the course sessions
  • complete your tasks on time
  • be successful in your assessments.

Most courses combine theory and practice. Ask your education provider what the course will include and what is expected of you before signing up.

What does pre-trade training cost?

Course costs vary so it’s best to ask the education provider. It’s also a good idea to check out your funding options. A number of training providers offer subsidised pre-trade training courses – you can talk to your education provider, Work and Income or Careers New Zealand to find out more.

What qualification will you get?

The qualification you get depends on the course you do.

Not all pre-trade courses are part of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). If the course is not part of the NZQF you won't be able to cross credit it to a national certificate later on. Make sure you ask your education provider about this so you can make an informed decision.

Updated 17 Jan 2019