What is it?

The Apprentice Boost package is part of the Government’s Apprenticeship Support Programme that will be implemented from August 2020. It aims to support employers to retain and take on new apprentices so they can continue to earn and progress towards their qualifications.

Who will be entitled to the fund?

For Industry Training, this fund will be available to employers of first- and second-year apprentices who are signed into a TEC-approved apprenticeship programme with an ITO.

When is it available?

The Apprenticeship Boost officially kicked off Wednesday 5 August 2020 and has been extended to run for an additional four months until August 2022. 

How is it paid out?

The Apprenticeship Boost will be paid monthly to the employer – at $1,000 a month for each apprentice in their first 12 months of training, and $500 a month for each apprentice in their second 12 months of training. Employers receive up to a maximum of $16,000 for each apprentice they employ.

How can I go about applying for the Apprenticeship Boost?

As the fund is available through the MSD, you will apply through the MSD Work & Income website.

You’ll need to register first and then the site will walk you through the information you need to provide. Your apprentice will need to complete a consent form so their information can be shared with the MSD, MoE and TEC.

Each month you will be required to reconfirm that your apprentice is still employed and training to keep getting the payments.

 We have been considering bringing on a new apprentice(s). What should I do?

If you are about to hire an apprentice, then to get the full benefit of the support package, we would advise you get any new apprentice signups underway now, so you are ready for the funding kick off on 1 August.

If you are wanting to sign up a new apprentice, please contact your Skills account manager or call 0508-SKILLS.

What if I have apprentices who have been working with us for just over two years?

Employers with apprentices who have been training for over two years are not eligible for the funding. It is only available to those employers with apprentices in their first or second year of training.

My apprentice(s) is already 18 months into their apprenticeship. Will they still be eligible?

Employers can apply for the Apprenticeship Boost whether an apprentice has just started their training programme or is nearing the end of their first two years – right up until the apprentice has completed 24 months of their training programme.

Why is it only for those who are in their first two years of training?

It’s focused on the first two years of an apprenticeship because the Government believes this is when apprentices are at highest risk of being laid off by their employer – and during the post-Covid period of economic recovery, they want to help businesses keep apprentices in jobs.

Can an apprentice that holds a work visa which does not cover the full term of the apprenticeship qualify for the Apprentice Boost?

All apprentices enrolled in a NZ apprenticeship that meets the Apprenticeship Boost criteria can qualify. But employees on working visas won’t be eligible if the length of their apprenticeship exceeds the length of their visa.

Can an owner of a business sign up as an apprentice so they can become a qualified trades person and receive the Apprentice Boost?

No. Essentially, an owner of a business can’t be both an employee and employer.
Where to from here?
We will continue to keep you updated with any further information about the Apprentice Boost fund. For more information on the Apprentice Boost fund generally and registering your apprentices, please visit the MSD website.