Education and training for trades

Most education and training for trades usually incorporates a lot of on-the-job training which will help the employee develop the use of their skills.

Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE)

The Government is creating a new system to increase the number of employers engaged in vocational education, and give more support to learners.

Reform of Vocational Education — Tertiary Education Commission (external link)


An apprenticeship is a way to learn a trade, and work and earn at the same time. In most cases this involves training on-the-job and block course training. The training is usually designed by the industry, for the industry. Examples of apprenticeships are: plumbing, panel beating, hairdressing and building.

Guides for would-be apprentices and employers (external link) under the New Zealand Apprenticeship structure.

Industry training

Industry training covers the traditional trades and apprenticeships as well as occupations across a range of sectors. These sectors include the primary industries, manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, services, retail, government, and community services.

Industry Training Organisations

Industry Training Organisations (external link) (ITOs) are established by each industry and are approved so that they can set national skill standards, lead qualifications development, and play a central role in industry-related vocational education and training.

ITOs arrange workplace training within their different sectors, and work with tertiary education providers to develop and deliver the skills that benefit trainees, employers and the New Zealand economy. They are also responsible for:

  • providing information and advice to trainees and their employers
  • arranging for the delivery of on- and off-job training (including developing training packages for employers)
  • arranging for the assessment of trainees, and
  • arranging the monitoring of quality training.

View a list of accredited Industry Training Organisations (external link)

Training while at secondary school

Vocational education and training can be offered through senior secondary education, tertiary education courses and ongoing professional development in the workforce. Every year over 200,000 school students achieve industry skills standards and qualifications.

Gateway scheme (Tertiary Education Commission)

The Gateway scheme programme (external link) offers work experience, learning on the job and getting NCEA and industry qualifications. Gateway is a scheme offered by the Tertiary Education Commission. It supports senior secondary students (Years 11 to 13+) undertaking structured workplace learning across a range of industries and businesses around New Zealand, while they continue to study at state and integrated secondary schools.

Career information for young employees

Careers New Zealand

Careers New Zealand is the government agency responsible for leading the career development of all New Zealanders. See their information on planning your career, no matter what stage someone is at.

Other useful links on the Careers New Zealand site include:

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