Since July 2020, the New Zealand Government has been covering training fees for new and existing apprentices.

This is to help our country recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 and to encourage more people to learn a trade.

Read more about available funding below.

If you have questions about how the latest government funding works with a Masterlink apprenticeship, Email admin@masterlink.co.nz or call 0800 502 102

Find out if you are eligible for free fees

Free trades training (Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund or TTAF)
Fees Free (for first-time learners)

What is the cost of an apprenticeship?

This is the cost of an apprenticeship with free trades training (TTAF), based on 24 months of funding:

  • Plumbing/Drainlaying & Gasfitting (PDG) - $6,000*
  • Plumbing/Drainlaying (PD) - $5,000*
  • Drainlaying - $750 (payable in full at sign-up and refunded if you qualify within 2 years)

And this is the cost without free trades training, when normal training fees apply:

  • Plumbing/Drainlaying & Gasfitting (PDG) - $10,000*
  • Plumbing/Drainlaying (PD) - $8,000*
  • Drainlaying - $750 (payable in full at sign-up and refunded if you qualify within 2 years)

* These amounts include a Masterlink sign-up fee of $2,000. When training fees apply, they are paid through weekly wage deductions (currently from 1 Jan 2023) for the remainder of your apprenticeship.

Start training now to make the most of the current government funding! There's really never been a better time to become an apprentice.

Masterlink PPE kit 2020
Masterlink Apprentice PPE kit

Masterlink Starter Toolkit 2020
Masterlink Apprentice Starter Toolkit

Masterlink sign-up fee

  • Most Masterlink apprentices pay a sign-up fee of $2,000
  • Drainlaying only apprentices pay $750
  • This fee is payable when an apprentice is taken on by one of our host companies.

This fee is not only a sign of your commitment to your apprenticeship, but it also helps Masterlink cover costs incurred during your recruitment and at the very start of your training.

Masterlink pays for criminal background checks, drug and alcohol testing, and a medical examination prior to starting an apprenticeship.

Our new apprentices also receive PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and a starter tool kit worth over $2,500 so that they are ready to start work. We also provide an annual allowance to replace safety boots.

And our new apprentices all complete essential safety courses - provided free.

Masterlink has a small number of hardship allowances available to apprentices who may genuinely struggle to pay the sign-up fee.

It may also possible for apprentices to pay part of their sign-up fee through an ongoing weekly wage deduction.

Allowances and payment arrangement are assessed on a case-by-case basis.