Regional apprenticeships initiative

Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit (Kānoa – RDU) administers several skills and training programmes to help regional New Zealand workers find sustainable long-term employment.

This support includes the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative, or RAI, which was established to support new apprentices and their employers from across a range of business and industry sectors.

The RAI provides financial and pastoral support for people who want to take up an apprenticeship or other similar NZQA Level Four industry training qualifications.

The RAI allocates up to $40,000 per apprentice which includes wage subsidies through the Apprenticeship Support Programme, as well as business support and help for employers to provide pastoral care for their apprentices.

Applications for inclusion in the RAI scheme have come from the primary sector, construction, manufacturing, engineering and wood processing industries, as well as third party service providers.

Timaru rangers
RAI apprentices from Ranger Specialist Coatings in Timaru.

The RAI is now closed to new applicants.

However, you can contact the third-party providers below to apply for funding if your business is a small to medium enterprise (SME) looking for 10 or fewer apprentices in specific regions. 

Contact third-party providers of RAI

We work with third-party providers in different regions to help local people find apprenticeships and obtain trade-based qualifications. These third-party providers administer funding on behalf of the Kānoa – RDU, provide pastoral care and give support to employers. 

Programme Region Contact details
TROTAK (Te Rūnanga o Tūranganui ā Kiwa) Tairāwhiti
Mid-South Canterbury & North Otago Regional Apprenticeship Initiative (Venture Timaru)
  • Canterbury
  • Mid-South Canterbury
  • North Otago
  • Dunedin
  • South Otago (Milton and Balclutha)
  • Central Otago (Alexandra and Cromwell)
  • Queenstown
  • Wanaka  
Tradeup Ltd Regional Apprenticeship Programme North Island (excludes Auckland and Wellington)

RAI was formed as part of a wider Government support package which includes Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD) Apprenticeship Boost Initiative, Mana in Mahi and the Group Training Scheme. To find out more about MSD’s services please visit the link below:

Apprenticeship Support Programme — Work and Income

The RAI’s priorities included supporting Māori and Pasifika, people who had finished pre-trade training but were unable to progress into an apprenticeship, and those who had lost work due to COVID-19. Urban areas such as Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland were not covered by this initiative.