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You can also browse the topics below to ﬁnd what you are looking for.
- About MPTT
- Learning a trade
- Pre-Trade courses
- Work experience
- Finding a job
- For Employers
What is MPTT Auckland?
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Auckland is a scholarship and workforce development programme. We help Māori and Pasifika aged 16-40 who live in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and want to work in the trades industry.
Since launching in 2015, we’ve helped more than 3000 Māori and Pasifika men and women learn a trade. With partner organisations throughout the industry, we encourage our scholarship winners to become leaders in the industry and support them to become qualified tradespeople.
The MPTT scholarship includes one-on-one mentoring and personalised career advice for trainees, as well as help to find a job in their chosen trade. Plus, our trainees get financial assistance to suit their needs, whether it’s help paying for their drivers licence or buying tools. They’ll also meet other Māori and Pasifika in the industry.
Who can get an MPTT scholarship?
Our scholarships are for people who are serious about building a career in the trades. You’ll need to be:
- Māori or Pasifika (including those with heritage linked to Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, American Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kingdom of Tonga, Nauru, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands)
- Living in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
- Aged between 16 – 40
- A New Zealand Citizen or Resident
- Accepted into your chosen course*
*For us to pay your fees, you’ll first need to get into your course – but we can help you with that too.
What trades can I learn with an MPTT scholarship?
Here’s a list of the trades the MPTT scholarship currently supports. There are slight changes each year. You can find out more about each trade on our website:
How do I apply for an MPTT scholarship?
Our scholarship numbers are limited, but you can register your interest to get the ball rolling now. Apply for an MPTT scholarship using our online application form.
We’ll then pass your information on to the relevant training provider, and work with them to process your application.
If you’re Māori or Pasifika and aged 16-40, it’s likely you will qualify for one of our scholarships, as long as you’re accepted into your chosen trades course.
Please note you’ll need to have a confirmed place in your trades course before you can be accepted into the MPTT programme. That means if you haven’t already applied for your course, you should do so as soon as possible.
To find out where to apply for your course, visit maoripasifikatrades.co.nz. Select your chosen trade from our website’s navigation menu, then scroll down to the ‘Find a Course’ section. There you’ll find a list of providers with links to the relevant course pages on each training provider website. From there, please follow the instructions to apply for your course.
What financial help can I get from MPTT?
As an MPTT scholarship recipient, you’ll get support throughout your training. Here are some ways we’ll help you financially:
- We’ll pay the fees for your pre-trades course.
- We’ll fund additional training in work and life readiness skills, to help you succeed and be more likely to find employment. What you get will depend on your individual needs, but can include financial help to get your driver licence, secure your Site Safe card, or buy tools for your apprenticeship.
- We’ll give you valuable one-on-one career coaching as part of your scholarship, helping you stay motivated and achieve your goals.
MPTT doesn’t help with student allowance or living costs, but like all tertiary students, you can apply for this through Studylink.
What other support do I get through MPTT?
With MPTT Auckland, you’ll get support right through your training, and beyond. Besides paying your fees, we’ll give you valuable one-on-one mentoring to help ensure you’re ready for life on the job.
We have contacts throughout the trades industry, so we can even help you find job opportunities in your trade. Plus, we can help you with anything from getting your driver licence to showing you how to manage your money to help you get ahead in life. Our priority is ensuring our MPTT tauira are ‘work ready’, with the core skills and motivation to enter an apprenticeship.
How is MPTT Auckland different from fees-free and other funding options?
To find out more about the different funding options available for the trades and which one is best for you, take a look at this table.
The fees-free tertiary training scheme is a government initiative that offers some tertiary training for free, if you meet certain criteria. MPTT Auckland is a scholarship for Māori and Pasifika aged 16-40, which helps you get into the trades industry and build the work and life skills you need to succeed.
If you choose to study under MPTT, we’ll pay your course fees just like the fees-free programme would. The difference is, we’ll also give you one-on-one mentoring to help you stay on track, and even help you find work in your chosen trade. With MPTT, you’ll have support right through your training, and beyond. Plus, you’ll join the wider whānau of MPTT recipients and meet other Māori and Pasifika trainees who are building their careers in the trades industry.
Unlike the fees-free programme, you can get an MPTT scholarship even if you’ve done tertiary training before.
What is a Navigator?
When you get an MPTT scholarship, you’ll be matched up with a mentor who we call a Navigator. Your MPTT Navigator acts as a coach who supports you from the start of your training and into your apprenticeship. They can help you with everything from getting your driver licence sorted to preparing for a job interview. By getting to know you personally, they’ll be able to give you the help you need. You can go to your Navigator with any problems you have along the way.
Navigators not only know about the trades industry; they have knowledge of Māori and Pasifika cultures and the related ‘real world’ experiences required to succeed in the trades. They’ll work with you one-on-one to help achieve your goals and ensure you’re ready for life on the job. Find out more about MPTT Navigators.
What is expected of me if I get an MPTT scholarship?
MPTT scholarships are for Māori and Pasifika who are serious about becoming a leader in the trades. You’ll become part of a wider whānau that supports and encourages you, and in return you’ll have a responsibility to work hard and try your best.
By accepting your scholarship, you’re agreeing to:
- Show up to your classes
Your attendance needs to be above 80% throughout your course. We’ll regularly check with your tutors to ensure your attendance and overall performance within your course is of a good standard.
- Attend all MPTT events
To help you succeed, we’ll hold work-readiness workshops and other events throughout the year. As a scholarship recipient, we expect you’ll come along to these and make the most of the support available to you.
- Stay in touch
We ask that you let us know if your contact details change, and stay in regular contact with your MPTT Navigator so they can help you when you need it.
- Show up to your classes
Learning a trade
What subjects should I take at school if I want to learn a trade?
Most pre-trades courses won’t require you to have done specific subjects in secondary school, but you should make sure you meet NCEA’s literacy and numeracy requirements.
Some secondary schools let you start learning a trade while you’re at school, combining your NCEA studies with trades courses. There are also trades academies that teach pre-trade courses to students in Year 11 to 13, while you’re still enrolled in school. You can find out more about these options on the careers.govt.nz website.
Is learning a trade just for people who can’t get into university?
Not at all! There’s an old stereotype that tradies are less academic, but the reality is that all types of people join the trades. Successful tradespeople are good at problem solving, communication and attention to detail, and enjoy doing practical work as part of a team.
When you learn a trade, you know you’re building the skills you need on the job. That’s not always true with uni degrees. In fact, up to 30% of university graduates then go into the trades, as their qualifications haven’t necessarily helped them into a vocation. Plus, trades apprenticeships mean you can earn money as you learn!
And if you’re wondering if you’ll earn less as a tradie, a recent report by economic think tank BERL found a career in the trades is just as financially lucrative across a lifetime as a university degree.
Am I strong enough to be a tradie?
Yes! Some people worry they’re not strong enough for trades work, particularly women since the trades has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. But the truth is, most trainees – regardless of gender – build up their strength and fitness on the job, and the really heavy lifting is usually done by machines. Besides, there’s much more to being a great tradesperson than how much you can lift. Employers are looking for team players with good communication and problem solving skills, along with initiative and great attention to detail.
Can women work in the trades?
Yes! They can, and many already are. It’s true that the trades industry has been male dominated. But that’s changing, and more and more wahine (women) are joining the industry. That’s good news, because we need more women in the trades.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) estimates there’ll be 56,000 new jobs in construction by 2029 – far more than the 24,000 jobs created in the past decade. Having more women in the trades will play a big part in meeting the long-term skills shortage in the industry. Find out more about being a woman in the trades.
What is a pre-trade course?
Pre-trade training is great for those who want to work in the trades industry but don’t have enough experience yet. During your pre-trade course, you’ll learn the theory behind your trade and start building your practical skills. That means by the time you finish the course, you’ll be in a good position to start working on a job site, with the core skills you need to succeed.
Do I have to do a pre-trade course to become a tradesperson?
Not necessarily. If you’re new to the trades, a pre-trade course is the best way to get started in the industry. However, some trainees learn while they’re working, rather than doing a pre-trade course at a polytechnic. This option can be ideal for trainees who are already prepared for life on the job and have some experience under their belt.
Does a pre-trade course earn me a qualification?
Your pre-trade course helps you get some foundational skills and learn the theory behind your trade. The work you do in your course counts towards your qualification, but you won’t be a qualified tradesperson until you’ve completed an apprenticeship.
What can I do while I’m training to help me get a job later?
Even if you’ve just started your trades training, there is heaps you can do to make yourself more useful to your future boss. Here are five things to tick off before you graduate to help you get the job you want:
- Get your driver licence. If you don’t have your Restricted or Full licence yet, it’s the number one thing you can do to help you get a job later. To find out what to do next, read about getting your driver licence on our website.
- Get a Site Safe card. Employers want to know you can work safely on-site. Ask your training provider or MPTT Navigator about getting a Site Safe card.
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Most employers demand drug and alcohol tests, both when you apply for a job and as an ongoing part of working life. Avoiding drugs and alcohol will also keep you and other people safe on-site, and help you stay mentally focused and physically strong.
- Have a great attitude. When you apply for jobs, you’ll need referees to vouch for you – which could include your tutors. By turning up to your classes on time, showing interest in your training and working well with others, you’ll show you can be a great employee in the future. Read more about the benefits of bringing a good attitude to work and study.
- Get work experience. This is usually unpaid short-term work, but in return, you’ll get great experience to add to your CV and a reference to help you get a job in the future. They may even offer to take you on as an apprentice. Read about how to get some trades experience under your belt.
What’s the difference between work experience and a job?
Work experience is a great way to grow your skills and is a critical addition to your CV.
Unlike being employed, work experience is only for a set amount of time (whatever you agree on with the employer) and you usually won’t get paid. That means employers can afford to take a chance on new trainees who don’t have the experience it usually takes to get employed. In return, you’ll get a great experience to add to your CV and a reference to help you get a job in the future.
Why should I do work experience?
There are huge benefits to doing work experience if you’re just starting out in the trades:
- It’ll help you get a foot in the door because it’s much less risky for an employer to take you on for work experience than to offer you a job contract.
- You’ll get to use the skills you’ve learned in the classroom, and you’ll learn heaps about life on the job.
- You’ll get a trade job to add to your CV.
- You can ask for a reference, for when you apply for a job later.
- It’s a lot easier to get a job once you have some experience in your trade.
- Once the employer gets to know you and sees you’re a hard worker, they might be keen to offer you paid work.
How do I find work experience in the trades?
Try these ideas for finding work experience opportunities:
- Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for work experience in your trade. You never know who might be able to help, and if an employer knows someone who knows you, they’ll be more likely to take you on.
- If you know anyone who works in your trade, ask if they or their employer have any work experience opportunities.
- MPTT has contacts throughout the trades industry, so ask your MPTT Navigator if they know of any work experience opportunities.
- Try asking an employer directly. Let them know you like their company and would love to offer your skills. It takes guts to introduce yourself to an employer, but it shows you have get-up-and-go and can really help you stand out. Even if they say ‘no’, they’ll appreciate your confidence and might suggest other employers for you to approach.
- Read our blog to find out the best way to get some trades experience under your belt while you are studying, to help you land the job you want later.
Finding a job
Can MPTT help me find a job?
Yes. We have contacts throughout the trades industry, so we can help you find the right job for you. If you’re looking for work, talk to your MPTT Navigator or the Industry Training Organisation for your trade. Check out the Jobs board on the home page of our website.
Do I need a driver licence to work in the trades?
Yes, a driver licence is crucial in the trades. Your boss might ask you to pick up supplies for a job, or you may need to travel between different work sites during the day.
If you don’t have your licence yet, it’s the number one thing you can do while you’re training to help you get a job later. When you’re just starting out, a restricted licence is fine for many jobs. If you already have your restricted licence, getting your full licence will make you even more valuable to an employer. Find out more about how to get your driver licence.
Do I need a CV and cover letter to apply for a job in the trades?
Having a good CV can help you get a job in the trades. Your employer’s first impression of you isn’t usually face-to-face – they’ll read your job application first. So if your CV isn’t up to scratch, you’re much less likely to score an interview. Find out how to write your CV and cover letter, or ask your MPTT Navigator for help.
What’s a Site Safe card and do I need one?
An important part of learning your trade is knowing how to stay safe on the job. To show you can work safely on-site, you’ll need what’s called a Site Safe card. Most employers require you to get this card before you start work.
To get your card, you’ll need to complete a short course. These are offered by your course provider during the year. The information you’ll learn depends on your trade, so your Site Safe course will be tailored to what you’ll come across on the job.
Your tutor will know the date of your course, so make sure that you attend. If you missed out, your MPTT Navigator can help you find the right course for you and sort out when and where the next course is happening.
Will I be tested for drugs and alcohol when applying for a trades job?
Most employers will test you for drugs and alcohol as part of their site safety practices. You’ll need to be able to pass these tests when you’re looking for a job, plus any ongoing tests that your employer might do.
But it’s not just about getting a job. It’s about staying safe on-site and being at the top of your game. Find out more about how staying sober at work will help you dominate in your trade – plus what to do if you’ve taken drugs in the past, and where to get help if you need it.
What do employers look for in an employee?
Practical skills are important, but you can learn them on the job. When you’re starting out, most employers will be more interested in your attitude than your practical ability. Here are some ways to show you’ve got a good attitude:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It shows you’re keen to learn.
- Show up for work on time each day. If you can’t (like if you’re sick), let your boss know as soon as you can.
- Show initiative. For example, start cleaning up after you’ve finished a job rather than waiting for your boss to ask you to do it.
- Ask your boss for advice on how you can achieve your career goals, like asking them how you can eventually become a foreman. This shows your ambition and enthusiasm for your trade.
What is an employment trial?
An employer with 19 or fewer employees can use a trial period for up to 90 days, as long as this is agreed in the written employment agreement before the employee starts work. This means both you and your new boss can get to know each other before committing to a long-term working relationship.
During a trial period, you’ll work and get paid as normal and you should be treated the same as any other employee. But if for some reason it doesn’t work out, you or the employer can end the relationship more easily than if you were already a permanent member of staff. You can find out more about how trial periods work on the employment.govt.nz website.
Do I need to buy tools before I apply for a job?
You shouldn’t hold back on applying for a job just because you don’t have the tools yet. When you’re starting out, your employer will usually have the basic tools you need.
As an MPTT trainee, you might be able to get free tools as part of your scholarship. This depends on your individual needs, so ask your MPTT Navigator if you’re able to get financial help to buy tools.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is more than a job. It’s a three-way agreement between you, your employer and an apprenticeship provider (such as an ITO), where they support you to get qualified in your trade.
Why do an apprenticeship?
As an apprentice, you’ll be paid to work towards your qualification. That means you’ll do practical assessments at work, which your boss will sign off on to say you’ve successfully learned those skills. You’ll also do some off-job training to learn more about the theory behind your trade. Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship, you’ll be fully qualified in your trade.
If you just have a job … If you have an apprenticeship … You sign a contract with your employer You sign a contract with your employer AND an apprenticeship provider You’ll be paid to work You’ll be paid to work towards your qualification You’ll do work your boss needs you to do Your boss and apprenticeship provider will make sure what you’re learning at work includes the skills you need to get qualified You won’t be working towards your qualification, so your work won’t be formally assessed You’ll do practical assessments at work, where your ITO will check you can do certain tasks, and you’ll do some off-job training in a classroom You could work in your job for decades and never get qualified You’ll be fully qualified when you finish your apprenticeship
You can find out more about the difference between a job and an apprenticeship on our website.
What is an ITO?
An Industry Training Organisation provides apprenticeships and other workplace training. Your ITO depends on your trade:
- BCITO (building and construction)
- MITO (automotive)
- Competenz (refrigeration and air conditioning, mechanical engineering)
- Skills (electrical, plumbing and gasfitting)
- Connexis (infrastructure)
- HITO (hairdressing)
- Primary ITO (horticulture and landscaping)
- ServiceIQ (hospitality)
Does my pre-trades course count towards an apprenticeship?
Your pre-trades course isn’t part of your apprenticeship, but it will help prepare you for it.
In your pre-trades course, you’ll learn the theory behind your trade and start building your skills.
Some of the theories you learn in pre-trades can later count towards the bookwork that all apprentices have to complete to get qualified. This depends on your trade though, so ask your apprenticeship provider whether this is the case for you.
When I graduate, will I get an apprenticeship automatically?
No. To become an apprentice, you’ll first need an employer to agree to help you get qualified.
Taking on an apprentice is a big decision for an employer. It means committing to working with you for several years, and investing money and time into training you to get qualified. That means they’ll usually want to get to know you before they offer you an apprenticeship.
Remember, as an MPTT trainee you’re not on your own. We’ll help you find your first job, and let you know what employers look for in an apprentice.
How do I find an apprenticeship?
Most trainees start by getting a job after their pre-trades course. An employer will usually want to have you work for them on a trial basis for the first few months. This means both you and your new boss can get to know each other before committing to a long-term working relationship – and possibly an apprenticeship.
Not every employer offers apprenticeships, so when you apply for the job, it’s a good idea to ask if they’d consider giving you an apprenticeship down the track. That way, your boss will know you’re looking to get qualified.
Remember, as an MPTT trainee you’re not on your own. If your employer won’t offer you an apprenticeship, get in touch with your MPTT navigator to see how we can help.
How do I know if an employer will give me an apprenticeship?
The best way is to ask them directly. Not all employers provide apprenticeships, because they might not have the resources needed to support you to get qualified. So before you take on a job, you should make sure your employer knows you don’t just want to be a labourer.
Your job interview is a good time to let your future boss know about your plans for the future, so they know from the start that your goal is to get an apprenticeship.
Remember, an apprenticeship is something you earn. Your boss will usually want to get to know you before they commit to helping you get qualified. Most trainees start by getting a job, which gives them the chance to show the employer they’d make a good apprentice.
Should I still apply for a job, even if the employer can’t tell me if they’ll give me an apprenticeship?
When you’re just starting out, any experience in your trade is valuable. So, it can make sense for new trainees to take on a job just to gain experience. This will help you get an apprenticeship later (even if it’s with a different employer).
For example, MPTT trainee Toni Rhind started with a job she hoped would lead to an apprenticeship, but when her boss wasn’t able to give her one, she used the experience she’d gained to get an apprenticeship with another company.
However, you shouldn’t spend an extended period of time in a job that won’t lead to an apprenticeship. As an MPTT trainee you’ll have a coach, called a Navigator, who will give you advice along the way and help you find an apprenticeship.
Can I get help with my apprenticeship work?
Yes, it’s normal to need help along the way. Many trainees feel whakamā (shy or embarrassed) when asking for help. But the truth is, everyone needs help at some point in their training, and no-one expects you to know everything.
To get help during your apprenticeship, you can talk to your employer or tutor. Your training advisor (from your ITO) is also there to support you. Your apprenticeship provider (such as an ITO) can help with everything from literacy and numeracy to brushing up on practical skills through off-job training. Remember, there’s heaps of support available to help you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Can I change jobs part-way through my apprenticeship?
You can change jobs if you need to, but it’s best to stay with the same employer if you can. When you change jobs, you break your apprenticeship contract. Even though you can continue your apprenticeship with a new employer, it can take a few months before you sign the new contract. So by staying with one employer for your whole apprenticeship, you’re more likely to finish on time.
If you do need to change jobs along the way, make sure your new employer is happy to offer you an apprenticeship. Any work you’ve already had signed off will still count, so you can continue from where you left off once you sign your new contract.
Do I need to pay my apprenticeship fees at the start of my apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship fees are usually deducted from your wages over time. Exactly how much you pay and when will be based on an agreement between you, your employer and your apprenticeship provider. There’s no need to save up the fees before you start your apprenticeship.
Sometimes your employer will help you pay your fees. As an MPTT trainee, you might also have your fees subsidised as part of your scholarship, but this depends on your individual needs and is decided on a case-by-case basis by your MPTT Navigator.
How long does an apprenticeship take?
Apprenticeships are no longer based on hours. To get qualified, you need to show you have certain skills.
When you sign on for an apprenticeship, your training provider will let you know how long it’ll ideally take you to complete your qualification. Depending on your trade, this is usually between 2 years and 4 ½ years of being an apprentice. The length of your apprenticeship will also depend on whether you already have some of the skills you need (like if you’ve worked as a hammer hand).
Remember, speed isn’t everything, and it’s important to take the time you need to properly learn your trade.
Can I take a break from my apprenticeship?
Sometimes life gets in the way of your learning. If you’re not able to work for a while, then you might be able to take a brief break from your apprenticeship, as long as your boss is on board. But remember, you can’t put your apprenticeship on hold forever. You need to talk to your boss and ITO about why you need a break and make a plan for when you’ll return.
What if I get injured?
If you have an injury that means you can’t work, talk to your boss and training advisor (from your ITO). In general, if you’re not fit for work because of an injury, you’ll be able to pause your apprenticeship until you’re ready to work again.
How do I get certified?
To be a qualified tradesperson, you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship. Find out more about the steps to getting certified in your trade.
Why should I take on an apprentice?
An apprentice is an investment in your business, as well as the trades industry. You’ll be laying the foundations for loyal employees who are trained to your standards. And by training the next generation of tradies, you’ll be future-proofing your business and helping to fill Auckland’s shortage of skilled tradespeople.
An apprentice can also bring youthful energy and a new perspective to your team. You’ll have an employee who’s continually growing and adding to their skills, with minimal downtime because the majority of an apprentice’s training is done on the job.
Plus, training others helps you fine-tune your skills and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.
Why hire an MPTT trainee?
MPTT Auckland trainees have already been coached on how to succeed in the workplace, which means there’s less you need to teach them on the job.
Through one-on-one mentoring, we help ensure trainees:
- have a driver licence
- are trained in worksite safety
- have work experience so they can hit the ground running
- show initiative
- manage their time well
- actively work towards their career goals
- understand what employers are looking for
We support our trainees even after you hire them, helping them stay motivated and continue doing their best work at no cost to you. You’ll get an employee you can rely on, who understands that a good work ethic is crucial to their success.
By getting behind MPTT Auckland, you’ll also be supporting your community by embracing diversity. Auckland’s Māori and Pasifika population is growing, and having a team that reflects this helps show your organisation’s commitment to social change.
How can I find an MPTT trainee?
Use our Industry Sign-Up form to find trainees who are looking for work or an apprenticeship. Just let us know you’re looking for an employee, and we’ll help you find a keen and capable MPTT employee who suits your workplace and the role you’re looking to fill. Our navigators work closely with the students and coach them to become ready to work. Because of their personal relationship, they’re ideally positioned to help you find the right person for the job.
You can also sign up for our Work Experience Programme which is a good place to start and is a win for both employers and our trainees. It gives our trainees the opportunity to get some experience under their belt and employers the chance to see them in action.