The benefits of pre-trade training

Hairdressing students watch a woman blow dry a person's hari

Here's how pre-trade training prepares you for an apprenticeship or working in a trade.

Who's pre-trade training for?

If you want to get an apprenticeship or work in a trade but don’t have enough experience, the answer might be to do a pre-trade training course.

If you're interested in a trade but not sure it's right for you, a pre-trade training course gives you the chance to try it without committing long term. Some employers prefer you to do a pre-apprenticeship training course before offering you an apprenticeship.

Pre-trade training courses are mainly offered by Te Pukenga and private training establishments (PTEs).

Pre-trade training is a good option if you’re at school and want to try a trade before you leave school.

Pre-trade training after you've left school

Pre-trade training may also be an option if you’ve left school and you:

  • tried to get into workplace training but the employer wasn't sure you had enough knowledge or practical experience
  • want to try a certain job or industry without having to commit long term
  • want to try a variety of different jobs to see which one you’re interested in
  • are interested in workplace training or a New Zealand Apprenticeship and want to earn credits to show a potential employer your commitment to the industry and your willingness to learn.

Check with the body that organises apprenticeships as some do not require pre-trade training. 

What are the benefits of pre-trade training?

The benefits of pre-trade training are:

  • you gain essential skills and form basic knowledge that can help you develop your career
  • some employers will only hire you once you've completed pre-trade training
  • you can try an industry and find out if you like it without committing long term.

How can you find out about pre-trade training courses?

You can search our courses database to find out what pre-trade courses are offered, or contact training providers directly.

What does pre-trade training cost and what support is there?

Course costs vary so it’s best to ask the training provider. It’s also a good idea to check out your funding options.

You may be eligible to get two years' study paid through the fees-free initiative. A number of training providers offer subsidised pre-trade training courses – talk to your training provider or Work and Income to find out more.

What qualification will you get?

The qualification you get depends on the course you do. Most training courses offer Level 2 or Level 3 certificates.

Not all pre-trade courses are part of the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF).

If the course isn’t part of NZQCF you can’t cross-credit it to a New Zealand Certificate later on.

Updated 8 Dec 2023