Apprenticeships are free

From 1 July 2020 until 2023, the Government will be covering the cost of all apprenticeships for new and existing apprentices.  That means there are no fees for learners or employers.

The Government's Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) is supporting tāngata 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 with BCITO to have their existing experience recognised 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 assessment. 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.

What happens if I'm made redundant?

If this is the case, we can do our very best to help you.  Please contact your BCITO Training advisor or call us on 0800 422 486 so we can determine how we can best tautoko you.

Please get in touch with us on 0800 422 486 if you have any questions about no fees.

Updated July 2022

What happens when Fees free trades training via TTAF ends in 2022?

Apprenticeships and most BCITO training programmes have been fully funded by the government since July 2020 through a scheme known as the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), which is ending on 31 December 2022. As of 1 January 2023 fees payable by either apprentices or employers (depending who you named as payer in your Training Agreement) will be in effect.

2023 pricing

We understand employers and learners need certainty to plan for future training costs and we are working with Te Pūkenga and the Work Based Learning subsidiary to confirm the pricing structure for 2023.

Once we have had confirmation on the pricing approach for 2023, we will provide you with those details straight away.

Fees free in 2023

From 1 January 2023 some apprentices and other learners may be eligible for free fees under the Fees Free scheme that pre-existed the TTAF and is still ongoing. They will need to check their eligibility using the NSN checker tool at They will need to enter their National Student Number (NSN).