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Otago – Regional Apprenticeship Initiative (RAI)

Apprenticeship Support Agreement Cover


The $40 million Regional Apprenticeships Initiative (RAI), funded through the Provincial Growth Fund, will support up to 1,000 new apprentices and their employers in regional New Zealand across a range of priority sectors. Aukaha (1997) Limited, is the third-party provider of the RAI for the Otago Area.

The RAI allows for up to $32,000 per apprentice, which includes a wage subsidy aligned to the Apprenticeship Support Programme.

Aukaha will provide for up to 50 apprenticeships in a range of sectors with priority given to the construction, primary, manufacturing and engineering, and wood processing industries.

Key Criteria

  • The Aukaha Apprenticeship Support will focus on:
    • Māori and Pasifika people who are currently unskilled labourers to enrol and work towards becoming qualified tradespeople.
    • Support for displaced regional workers whose employment has been affected by COVID-19,
    • The focus is primarily the construction trades including building, plumbing, electrical, engineering, civil (roading etc.), painting, plastering, concreting, roofing, brick and block, tiling, joinery, glazing, flooring and many more. Other non-construction trades will also be considered such as automotive, primary, manufacturing and engineering, and wood processing industries.
    • The focus is on SMEs where the total staff numbers are less than 20 with only a limited number of apprentices.
  • Aukaha Apprenticeship Support is available for new apprentices who:
    • Commenced their apprenticeship on or after 11th September 2020; and
    • are participating in the NZ Apprenticeship scheme, or other Level 4 industry training qualification similar to an apprenticeship, both with a minimum of 120 credits.
    • Employers must top up their new apprentices funding to ensure apprentices are paid at least the relevant minimum wage or training wage and not be accessing a wage subsidy or other similar apprenticeship support for that apprentice from any other source.


  • Only Level 4 Apprenticeships are eligible for funding/support and must be:
    • enrolled in a TEC-approved apprenticeship in the occupation for which they are receiving a Qualification, and
    • participate in New Zealand Apprenticeships (pursuant to the Education and Training Act 2020) or Managed Apprenticeships, and meet all obligations under each Training Agreement; or
    • at the Funders discretion, provide other Qualifications that are similar to an apprenticeship under the New Zealand Apprentice Scheme.
  • The Apprentice must have a written and signed Employment Agreement and must have commenced their apprenticeship on or after 11th September 2020.
  • The Apprentice must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week for 52 weeks per year. If the Apprentice is paid for less than 30 hours per week for 52 weeks, other than for reasons of illness or accident, Aukaha may make appropriate deductions to any subsequent payment to the Employer for that Apprentice.

The RAI does not cover:

  • pre-trades training
  • Level Two and Three qualifications
  • Level Four qualifications that are not on the approved list of RAI Eligible Courses or equivalent to an apprenticeship, i.e., less than 120 credits.
  • existing apprentices that have commenced their apprenticeship before 1st July 2020
  • employers based in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch
  • apprentices for which the employer is already receiving Apprenticeship Boost support.
  • apprentices employed under Group Training Schemes being existing industry-based training programmes which employ apprentices and trainees and then provide related services to host employers.

The full details, criteria, and expectations associated with the Regional Apprenticeship Initiative can be found in the Apprenticeship Support Agreement (also downloadable as part of the following application process).

PLEASE NOTE when completing the following application that ALL boxes need to be completed and ALL required documentation needs to be attached prior to submitting.

Frequently asked Questions

Should you have any queries please contact Aukaha direct at

Application Form