Mid-South Canterbury & North Otago - Regional Apprenticeship Initiative (RAI)

We wish to advise that applications are now CLOSED for the Regional Apprentice Initiative as the places have been fully allocated.


The $40 million Regional Apprenticeships Initiative (RAI), funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (now Kanoa), has supported over 1,000 new apprentices and their employers in regional New Zealand across a range of priority sectors. Venture Timaru is the third-party provider of the RAI for the Mid-South Canterbury and North Otago sub regions.

The RAI allows for local employers of apprentices to access just over $38,500 per new apprentice to support themselves and the apprentices successfully maintain the apprenticeship through to at least completion.


  • RAI support was given for new apprentices who :
    • are employed within either of the Construction, Primary, Manufacturing, Engineering, or Wood Processing sectors; having commenced their apprenticeship on or after 1 April 2023; and
    • are participating in the NZ Apprenticeship scheme, or other Level 4 industry training qualification similar to an apprenticeship, both with a minimum of 120 credits.
  • Priority was given to:
    • Māori and Pasifika, including existing employees who want to transition into an apprenticeship
    • people who have undertaken pre-trade training and have been unable to progress into an apprenticeship, and
    • other vulnerable workers who would benefit from undertaking an apprenticeship.
  • The support available (per apprentice) included:
    • a wage subsidy of up to $16,000 for the first year of training and up to $8,000 for the second year - payable quarterly and aligned to the date the apprentice commences their apprenticeship training,
    • up to $2,000  per apprentice to reimburse the employer for approved gear, equipment and tools they purchase for the apprentice.
    • up to $12,500 to assist with the cost of professional advice, pastoral care, training and business support (not being funded by any other source including government agencies and initiatives) to support the employer and the apprentice to be successful in sustaining and completing the apprenticeship.
  • Employers must top up their new apprentices funding to ensure apprentices are paid at least the relevant minimum wage or training wage and not be accessing a wage subsidy or other similar apprenticeship support for that apprentice from any other source.
  • The RAI does not cover:

  • pre-trades training
  • Level Two and Three qualifications
  • Level Four qualifications that are not on the approved list of RAI Eligible Courses or equivalent to an apprenticeship, i.e., less than 120 credits.
  • existing apprentices that have commenced their apprenticeship before 1 April 2023
  • employers based in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch
  • apprentices for which the employer is already receiving Apprenticeship Boost support.
  • apprentices employed under Group Training Schemes being existing industry-based training programmes which employ apprentices and trainees and then provide related services to host employers.
  • The full details, criteria, and expectations associated with the Regional Apprenticeship Initiative can be found in the Apprenticeship Support Agreement HERE (also downloadable as part of the following application process).

    PLEASE NOTE when completing the following application that ALL boxes need to be completed and ALL required documentation needs to be attached prior to submitting.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should you have any queries please contact Venture Timaru direct on either 03 687 2682 or enquiries@venturetimaru.nz