Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund NZ: Opportunities for Providers

Claudia Reiners
February 5, 2021

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund NZ: Opportunities for Providers

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF, sometimes also called free trades training) has recently been launched in New Zealand.

The aim of TTAF is to support learners in undertaking vocational education and training without any fees, creating a more skilled workforce in the process.

The TTAF will cover fees from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022 in the form of direct payments to tertiary education organisations (TEOs) by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Since its inception, it has supported thousands of New Zealanders towards pursuing their educational goals, setting the nation up for a better-skilled workforce in the not-so-distant future.

How does TTAF work?

TTAF is intended to make training and apprenticeship program at a sub-degree level free for learners. The $320 million plan will help to meet evolving industry demands and support New Zealand’s economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.

Funding allocation calculations and processes are still being determined, so monitor the TEC website to keep up with updates.

What programs, qualifications or subject areas are eligible under TTAF?

All apprenticeships that existed as of 1 June 2020 are eligible for TTAF. This includes level 3-7 sub-degree programs and industry training in targeted areas.

These targeted areas are:

  • Primary industries like horticulture and agriculture
  • Construction fields like building and plumbing
  • Community support subjects like aged care and youth work
  • Manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology

New programs and qualifications are constantly being added to the eligibility list, so make sure to routinely view the current eligible programs and qualifications.

Who will be eligible to receive TTAF?

Unlike some other forms of funding geared towards young people or underprivileged groups, TTAF is available to learners of all ages and from all walks of life. Learners can access the fund regardless of whether they have undertaken prior study or already completed higher qualifications in the past.

How can Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and Private Training Establishments (PTEs) participate?

If the program or qualification you provide is on the published list of eligible programs, or you have received eligibility confirmation in writing from the TEC, you are able to tell your learners that they will not have to pay any fees for their training.

Why does TTAF exist, and how will it help?

TEC Deputy Chief Executive Gillian Dudgeon notes that TTAF will help to “strengthen the skills pipeline New Zealand needs to support economic recovery… the targeted areas are industries where demand from employers will continue to be strong or is expected to grow, during New Zealand’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.”

In this way, TTAF is working to support people who:

  • Lost their jobs because of COVID-19
  • Postponed their studies due to COVID-related financial constraints
  • Hope to future-proof their skillset in light of workforce instability.

New Zealanders can now become more qualified in key areas, actively contributing towards the nation’s economy as well as establishing greater job security for themselves.

Within the first month of TTAF, 5000 more people commenced studies across more than 130 subjects. Otago Polytechnic saw their vocational enrolments grow 7% over their budgeted numbers.

This was “largely as a result of the TTAF”, according to Otago Chief Executive Dr Megan Gibbons.

What other support exists for New Zealand learners and providers?

TTAF will work alongside the $412 million Employer Apprenticeship subsidy scheme, which is yet to be fleshed out and implemented by the New Zealand government. The Trades Academy also has a separate fund of $32 million to increase the number of Trades Academy places in secondary schools in 2021.

TTAF will hopefully see New Zealand meet its skilling needs more effectively, as well as boost its economy post-pandemic.

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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