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What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a NZQA recognised Level 4 qualification and the best way to enter the plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying or electrical trades. As an apprentice you will learn the trade through a combination of practical work experience and theoretical study. Every ATT apprentice must complete a set number of working hours, attend all relevant courses and reach practical competencies to become qualified. While gaining their qualification, apprentices are working in a real business and being paid – so there are no student loans. 

What are the advantages of being an ATT apprentice?

The financial advantages of being an ATT apprentice include a 58 cents tax-free tool allowance (on top of wages) and an interest-free tool loan. Although apprentices start on a low rate, ATT's minimum is higher than the New Zealand minimum training wage. Once the apprenticeship is completed, ATT apprentices are awarded a $1200 incentive payment to reward them for their achievement. 

The administration and theoretical components are organised for ATT apprentices, such as coordinating block courses or training requirements. As an ATT apprentice you can be assured that you are signed into a training agreement from day one. 
Due to our network of host businesses, ATT apprentices have more job security. For instance, if your host business was to run low on work, ATT could place you with another host business. 

What are the entry requirements for an ATT apprenticeship?

To start an ATT apprenticeship you will need to: have achieved NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent); hold a current restricted or full drivers licence and pass a pre-employment drug and alcohol test. As well as passing a numeracy, literacy and mechanical reasoning test, you will need to have a good attitude and a commitment to completing the apprenticeship. Please note, ATT will conduct a criminal background check on all successful candidates.  

We require that you have your Tetanus and Hepatitis A & B vaccinations up to date prior to starting your apprenticeship. 

What are the costs involved with an ATT apprenticeship?

An initial $1250 fee is required prior to starting an apprenticeship as an upfront component of the training fees. Through our partnership with WINZ, there is possible financial support available to certain applicants who meet the criteria. For certain candidates that meet the criteria, financial assistance may be received through our partnership with WINZ as well as an ATT Scholarship. If you require financial assistance, please enquire for more information about the criteria. 

Additionally, the apprentice training fees (based on weekly payments) are below. Please note ATT will automatically deduct training fees from apprentice wages and can organise for training fees to be paid in full.

  • Plumbing/Plumbing & Gasfitting/Plumbing & Drainlaying - $50.87 per week
  • Drainlaying - $35.38 per week
  • Electrical – approximately $42.00 per week (depending on prior experience and qualifications)

Additionally, apprentices are required to purchase their own tools. ATT apprentices get access to significantly discounted tools, a 58 cent tax-free tool allowance and an interest-free tool loan. Depending on the trade, in your first year as an ATT apprentice you could expect to spend $600-$1500 on tools.   

How long does it take to complete an ATT apprenticeship?

Depending on the chosen trade, the length of an ATT apprenticeship differs – however, it usually takes two to four years to complete. 

  • Plumbing & Gasfitting and Plumbing & Drainlaying apprenticeships are structured over four years (or 8000 hours of practical work experience). 
  • A Drainlaying apprenticeship take two years to complete (or 4000 hours). 
  • Electrical apprenticeships take three to four years to complete (or 6000-8000 hours), depending on prior experience and qualifications. 

How much should I expect to earn as an ATT apprentice?

As an apprentice, you will earn while you learn.  As you are working towards gaining your National Certificate in your chosen trade, your wage will increase as you gain experience. Your starting wage will depend on a variety of factors e.g. experience, market conditions etc.   The recruitment team will discuss this further with you during the process. 

Can I apply for an ATT apprenticeship in a different city to which I currently live?

Feel free to apply for an apprenticeship in a different area to which you live, however ATT will not get involved in the relocation process. Please indicate on the application form which area you are looking for an apprenticeship in. 

Can I apply for an apprenticeship if I wasn't born in New Zealand?

Even if you weren't born in New Zealand, you can still apply for an ATT apprenticeship. However, as the types of apprenticeships we offer can take up to four years to complete, you will need to have either a Residents Visa or New Zealand Citizenship.

Can I get any financial support?

Unfortunately, student loans are not available to those training as an apprentice. However, for certain candidates that meet the criteria, financial assistance may be received through our partnership with WINZ as well as an ATT Scholarship. If you require financial assistance, please enquire for more information about the criteria. 

Can I apply for an ATT apprenticeship if I have my learners’ drivers licence/no drivers licence?

Most Host Businesses require you to have a minimum of a restricted drivers licence prior to starting your apprenticeship. ATT will commence with your application if you currently hold a learners licence however, you could expect some delays with being placed. If you are applying for an ATT apprenticeship with a learners’ driver licence, please indicate on your application when you are able to go for your restricted drivers licence. 

Am I guaranteed an apprenticeship when I get through the ATT recruitment process?

Getting through ATT’s recruitment process does not guarantee you a placement. While we will always do our best to find you an apprenticeship position, placements can be affected by fluctuating demand and location. 

What if I am placed with an ATT host business and it doesn’t work out?

There are instances when an apprenticeship placement might not work out – such as a drop in work. ATT will endeavour to place you with another host business in a situation like this. 

I have completed a pre-trade course; will this take time off my ATT apprenticeship?

Completing a pre-trade course will not reduce the time of an ATT Plumbing, Plumbing & Gasfitting, Plumbing & Drainlaying or Drainlaying apprenticeship. However, completing a relevant electrical pre-trade is likely to reduce the time of an ATT Electrical apprenticeship. 

Do I have a better chance of getting an ATT apprenticeship after completing a pre-trade course?

Completing a relevant pre-trade course shows ATT that you are committed to your career path and builds familiarity of the trade. However, this is not a necessity for getting an apprenticeship and generally does not give you an advantage. 

What happens if I fail my pre-employment drug and alcohol test?

If you fail the pre-employment drug and alcohol test ATT will not proceed with your apprenticeship. We have a zero tolerance on drugs and alcohol in the workplace. 

I have a criminal conviction, what are my chances to get an ATT apprenticeship?

Unless your conviction is covered under the Clean Slate Act 2004, please disclose ALL criminal history during application as we run criminal background checks on EVERY apprentice. ATT requires candidates to have a clean criminal record. 

How will I know when my block courses are scheduled?

ATT’s Training Services Manager will arrange all theoretical components and administration for you. We will notify you and your host business when your block courses are coming up.

Do I need a CV to apply for an ATT apprenticeship?

You cannot submit an application without attaching a CV. Please ensure your CV outlines past work experience, educational qualifications, motivations for pursuing an apprenticeship and includes two references. If you need help writing your CV, you can access an example here

What happens if I fail the numeracy, literacy and mechanical reasoning test?

The numeracy, literacy and mechanical reasoning test is part of ATT’s recruitment process. The test is in place to ensure you will able to complete the theoretical components of the apprenticeship. You can look at sample test questions here (you will be provided with a calculator). 

Why do I need to provide a photo?

When you get through ATT’s recruitment process, we will create an apprentice profile to help promote you to potential host businesses. The photo you provide is used as part of your profile, therefore the better the photo, the better we can promote you. Please ensure the photo you provide is high resolution and clear – outdoor photos or head shots are great!

What is certificationship?

Certificationship is an opportunity to grow your qualification at the completion point of your Plumbing, Plumbing & Gasfitting, Plumbing & Drainlaying or Drainlaying apprenticeship. Certificationship takes you from a registered trades person to being certified, meaning you can own a business and train apprentices. You can find out more about certificationship here