The Government has three support options to help employers retain and bring on new apprentices while dealing with the effects of COVID-19. We’ve outlined the options below. Employers will only be able to access one of these programmes.

HITO’s hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy apprenticeships are TEC-approved Level 4 qualifications, a requirement for all three programmes.

Apprentice Boost

Suitable for employers:

  • with an existing Year 1 or 2 apprentice (conditions apply)
  • ready to sign on a new apprentice (entering the first year of a HITO apprenticeship) now
  • who don’t fit Mana in Mahi or Regional Apprenticeship Initiative criteria.


Employers receive:

  • $1,000 per month for apprentices in their first year of training
  • $500 per month for apprentices in their second year of training

For up to 24 months from August 2020.


Employers will need to confirm their apprentice is employed each month.

How to apply

Apply online from August 5 on the Work and Income website

Step 1: You’ll need to have a business MyIR account. If you don’t already have one you can set it up on the Inland Revenue website. This is needed to validate the email address used in any Apprenticeship Boost applications for your business.

Step 2: Your apprentice(s) will need to sign a consent form.

Step 3: You’ll need to fill out an online form – this will be available on 5 August at 9am.

You’ll need your details:

  • business trading name
  • business legal name
  • bank account details
  • business Inland Revenue number
  • GST number (if you’re GST registered).

You’ll need your apprentice’s:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • Inland Revenue number
  • tertiary organisation that they’re registered with (HITO in this case)
  • industry qualification that they’re training for (New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy or Barbering)
  • training start date.

Mana in Mahi

Suitable for employers:

  • employing an apprentice who has been disadvantaged in the labour market (e.g. on a benefit)
  • offering at least the adult minimum wage for the first year and at least 30 hours per week
  • committed to supporting a new employee gain a formal qualification.


Employers receive:

  • a $16,000 wage subsidy for an apprentice in their first year of training
  • up to $8,000 for an apprentice in their second year of training.

Apprentices receive:

– incentive payments of $1,000 at 3, 6 and 12 months.

Extra funding may be available for pre-employment training. Work and Income visit the employer and employee regularly.

How to apply

For more information, see the Work and Income website

Regional Apprenticeships Initiative

Suitable for employers:

  • based outside Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
  • employing a new Maori/Pasifika apprentice or someone who has been displaced due to COVID-19
  • not receiving other government funding.


Employers receive:

  • up to $40,000 per apprentice (includes wage subsidy, business support, pastoral care).

How to apply

Register your interest by emailing


  • your company name
  • region of operation
  • number of apprentices you are considering taking on
  • the sector you work in
  • contact details.

Support for apprentices

From July 2020 to December 2022, apprentice fees will be covered by the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund

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