No fees

The government will be covering the cost of all apprenticeships for new and existing apprentices until 2023.  That means there are no fees for learners or employers.

Industry News

Get regular industry-specific news straight to your inbox.


The Government's Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) is supporting learners to undertake vocational education and training at no cost.

Who is entitled to a free apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are now FREE for all new and current BCITO apprentices enrolled in a TEC-funded apprenticeship programme in all of our 15 trades, including those completing any of our Supervisor Programmes.  This is for everyone. Whatever your age, even if you've got a higher level qualification or have completed other training - BCITO apprenticeships are now FREE.  

Sole Traders who are enrolled in a BCITO Experience Recognition Programme (ERP) are excluded.

Are all BCITO apprentice programmes free?


You don't have to apply - it just happens

There's nothing you need to do.  This is an automatic entitlement.

What type of fees are covered?

The fees covered are those that would normally be paid to BCITO for training and aromatawai. These include:

  • Sign-up fees
  • Annual/anniversary fees
  • Off-job training (block course)  fees where those courses are compulsory to attend.

What type of fees are not covered?

  • Non-compulsory BCITO night class fees and any other non-compulsory course fees.

I pay by direct debit - when will this stop?

If you are an apprentice or employer who is paying fees, we will stop your direct debit when all fees up to 30 June 2020 are cleared.  In most cases this means your direct debit will stop in July.  However, if you have any outstanding fees, your current payment arrangements will continue until any outstanding balance is cleared.

I've paid all my fees for this year - will I get a refund?

If you've paid for fees past 30 June 2020, you may be entitled to a pro-rated refund.  We will contact you as soon as we can with details of your refund as well as options around getting this processed. Note this can only happen once we have been reimbursed by TEC.  As you can imagine, this is a huge administrative task for everyone involved and refunds may take a couple of months.

What happens if I already qualify for the pre-existing "Fees Free" scheme?

This new government fund will be used in place of your Fees Free entitlement from 1 July 2020.  If you or your apprentice are still training at the end of 2022, you will then move back onto the Fees Free programme.  

If you are currently enrolled under the pre-existing "Fees Free" scheme and your programme doesn't qualify for No Fees through the TTAF, you will stay on your current Fees Free status.

Either way, if you are not paying fees now, then that will simply continue.

Does this apply to people having their existing experience recognised?

Yes, but only if they do not have to pay the Principal Contractor/Self-employed fee ($1,000).  Anyone who is an employee can get their training for free.  Sole Traders who are enrolled to have their existing experience recognised are excluded.

If you've got a specific question please call us on 0800 422 486 or contact us by email.