In an apprenticeship you learn practical skills from your employer, which are assessed to prove you’ve mastered those skills to gain a professional qualification. You’ll earn a wage while you learn in a real job.

Already experienced in barbering, beauty, or hair but don’t have your New Zealand qualification? Try Qualification by Experience.

Still in school but want to try a career in barbering, beauty, or hair? Find out more about our Gateway programmes.

Starting an apprenticeship

You may be able to start an apprenticeship from your current job if you’re already working in the industry, or directly from school.
You don’t need to do a pre-trade course to do an apprenticeship – so save yourself time and money by jumping straight into an apprenticeship.

The first step is to find a job

You need a job to start an apprenticeship – whether you’re looking for a new career, looking to get your skills recognised with a qualifications, or fresh out of school. Previous work experience helps – if you’re close to finishing school, find some part-time work.

Be proactive

Speak to anyone who might help you get a foot in the door – family, friends, teachers or career advisors.
Look at the job listings on Trade Me and Seek, or in your local newspaper.
Check out our jobs page and register as a job seeker.

Get whatever work experience you can

Do some summer or weekend work to gain experience and show future employers you’re motivated to work.
Always ask for a reference when you finish a job. If you’re still at school, ask your careers advisor about Gateway.

Write a good CV

Include your NCEA Record of Achievement, any work experience you’ve had, and some references.
Visit Careers New Zealand for some great tips on CV writing. If you’re still at school, ask your careers advisor for help.

Make the most of your job interview

At your interview:

  • Dress smartly.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Give clear answers.
  • Give a firm, confident handshake.
  • Make sure you say you want a career in the industry and that you want to do an apprenticeship.
  • Have a couple of questions prepared.

What employers want

Employers are looking to hire the best person to meet their needs.
So a good apprentice will need to make the most of the opportunities and meet the employer’s expectations.
You’ll need to:

  • show that your motivated to learn.
  • be professional, polite and reliable.
  • work hard and be determined to succeed.
  • be passionate and proud.
  • be honest and open.
  • be clean and well groomed.

Why do an apprenticeship?

If you’re already working, turn your job into a profession. You can get more out of your job by becoming an apprentice and gaining a professional qualification. An apprenticeship sets you up for a career as a qualified professional. All you need to get started is a job – you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars at a polytech. An apprenticeship is a cost effective way to gain a qualification because you’ll earn while you train – you won’t be left with a hefty student loan at the end. Your wage will increase as you progress through your qualification.

If you learn by doing, then an apprenticeship is ideal for you.

Your employer trains you

Your employer will train you in the skills you need as you work. They’ll check your skills meet the standard and sign-off that you’re doing well. Your employer needs to be on board for you to do an apprenticeship, so you need to talk to them about it if you haven’t already. Some employers may require you to undergo a trial period before they will take you on as an apprentice.

You’ll receive a Training Record Book that you’ll use to collect evidence that you’ve learned the skills needed. Your employer will sign that off as your progress. It’s all very simple.

Training and assessment

If you’re a barbering or hairdressing apprentice, you’ll also get training outside your workplace. HITO will send you to a training provider for several days each year. Here you’ll learn some technical skills and knowledge to take back into your workplace and you’ll take your assessments. For beauty therapy, all of your training and assessment will take place in your workplace.

How long it takes

The average length of time to complete an apprenticeship is 2-4 years, although this can vary depending on your choice of trade, if you have achieved a pre-trade course and the range of skills you can learn with your current employer.

  • Hairdressing apprentieships can take up to 4 years.
  • Barbering apprenticeships can take up to 3 years.
  • Beauty Therapy apprenticeships can take up to 2 years.

HITO supports you

You’ll have an expert and dedicated HITO Sales and Liaison Manager (SLM) duration of your apprenticeship. After an initial meeting, your SLM will meet with you regularly in the workplace to:

  • Make sure you’re getting quality training
  • Keep track of what you’re learning
  • Offer help and support with anything to do with training.

Types of Apprenticeship

HITO supports 3 different apprenticeship types.

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