What is workplace training?

Workplace training, also known as trade or industry training, involves learning and earning money while you work. Apprenticeships are one type of workplace training. You can do workplace training in a range of hands-on industries.

What does workplace training involve?

Workplace training usually combines on-the-job and off-the-job training. You'll have to:

  • attend all courses that are part of the industry training – these may be block courses, evening courses or day release classes, and are offered by a polytechnic or other education provider
  • complete on-the-job assessments to show you are competent doing practical tasks, and to work towards your national certificate
  • complete off-the-job assessments to work towards completing your qualification.

Can I do workplace training?

Workplace training is open to people of all ages, and may be an option for you if:

  • you already work in an industry that is covered by an industry training organisation (ITO)
  • your employer is willing to invest in your training.

If your employer is reluctant to take you on as an industry trainee, speak to the relevant ITO and ask them for advice on how to approach your employer. Remember, your employer is more likely to invest in your training if they can see a benefit for them.

What are the benefits of workplace training?

In industry training you:

  • earn money as you learn, so you won’t need to get a student loan
  • gain theoretical and practical skills at the same time
  • gain one or more national certificates, depending on the programme and industry you are in
  • increase your chances for a promotion, better pay or improved job opportunities
  • become highly skilled in your chosen industry.

How is my workplace training decided?

First, you should decide what kind of skills and knowledge you want to learn. For example, you may have a job that you want to work toward, which requires skills or qualifications you don't currently have. Your employer or ITO can help if you're not sure what skills you'll need to progress.

Your ITO will work with you and your employer to develop your training plan. This will include both on-the-job and off-the-job training.

  • On-the-job training involves learning the practical skills you need to do your job; for example, a hairdresser learning to dye hair.
  • Off-the-job training is likely to be offered by a polytech or other education provider.

You, your employer and the ITO must sign your industry training agreement.

What does workplace training cost?

Your costs will be minimal. Training costs are kept down because industry training is subsidised. However, you may have to pay for course-related costs for NZQA registration, training materials and the support from the ITO.

Industry training fees vary and the best way to find out about your fees is to talk to your employer or ITO.

What qualification will I get?

Industry training covers all levels of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, but has a strong focus on Levels 1 to 4. For example, you can work towards a National Certificate in Agriculture (Level 2, 3, 4 or 5) with different specialties like production or resource management.

The length of industry training varies and depends on the industry and on your own progress. It could be anything from a few weeks to a few years.

Updated 31 Aug 2015