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Apprenticeship wage support extension

The Apprenticeship Boost wage support has been extended until August 2022, paying employers up to $16,000 per apprentice to employ or retain apprentices

Set up in response to the economic fallout around Covid-19, the Apprenticeship Boost initiative recognises apprentices need more support from employers in their first two years while they are training and developing their skills. Employers apply for an Apprenticeship Boost through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

You can apply for an 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 been enrolled in 24 months of their training programme (while the initiative is running). The Apprenticeship Boost is paid at $1,000 a month for apprentices in their first 12 months of training, and $500 a month for apprentices in their second 12 months of training.

Fees for landscaping training with Primary ITO are also currently paid for by government funding for eligible programmes (including Landscaping Level 2, 3, 4 and Apprenticeship) up until December 2022. If the programme extends beyond 31 December 2022, the employer or learner will be responsible for paying the percentage of the fee that is unfunded. So, the sooner they enrol, the higher the proportion of the fee will fall into the subsidised period.

Primary ITO is encouraging all employers and learners to act now to take advantage of the opportunities for financial assistance. Primary ITO programmes available include landscaping, parks and garden, and other related programmes.

This is the perfect time to get your team into training, so they are working towards formal qualifications and adding value to your business. To enrol your team in training, or to find your next keen landscaper, visit or contact your local Primary ITO Training Advisor on 0800 20 80 20.

Primary ITO support

You and your team are doing great work – why not get recognised? Primary ITO will support you throughout the

process and employers will benefit from a motivated staff member being recognised with a qualification for their skills on the job.

In an apprenticeship for instance, there are three parties: the apprentice, the employer and Primary ITO. Each has unique responsibilities. For the apprentice, these are to work and learn. For the employer, these are to train and support the apprentice. For Primary ITO, it’s about facilitating the training, and supporting both the apprentice and the employer throughout the apprenticeship.

New Zealand apprentices are funded at a higher rate than industry trainees, to ensure that apprentices and employers are well-supported by their industry training organisation to achieve a high level of successful completions and documented outcomes of apprenticeships.

Long-awaited opportunity

For a long time, our industries have been crying out for skilled people. The support available now is an unprecedented opportunity to bring in those people and train them with the most up-to-the-minute skills, without having to pay fees. At a time when we all want to see people transitioning from other industries to primary sector careers, this should be an enormous incentive.

New micro-credentials

Primary ITO is offering new bite-sized pieces of learning – known as micro-credentials – to quickly set people up with the knowledge and skills required in workplaces, including the skills to operate vehicles safely and confidently in a landscaping context.

The Level 3 micro-credentials include operating quad bikes, motorcycles, light utility vehicles and tractors.

Each micro-credential takes two to four months to complete, can complement any programme that your team is currently enrolled in, and upskill those who are new or have little experience in the primary industries.

Update on ROVE

Last issue, we provided an update on Te Pūkenga, the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology, which will bring together the existing 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics into one organisation. Until it is in place in December 2022, Primary ITO will continue to manage training for landscapers. Also, due to the Government’s Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) Programme, six workforce development councils have been created, covering six broad industry sectors. Primary ITO will become part of the Primary Industries Committee.

On 1 April 2020 ITOs became Transitional ITOs under the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill. On-job, on-campus and online training will be integrated. The transition of activities must take place on or before December 2022.

This article was provided by Primary ITO.

Primary ITO offers landscaping apprenticeships and Landscaping Level 2, 3 and 4. For more information on landscape and other training, visit or call 0800 20 80 20.


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