What is a managed apprenticeship?

5 Mar 2015

This paper describes an investigation into apprenticeship-type training programmes offered by tertiary education institutions.


Most people who qualify for a trade do so via the industry training system, in an in-work and off-job training arrangement organised through an industry training organisation (ITO). Some polytechnics and institutes of technology (ITPs) also offer workplace-based training leading to qualifications that are the same as those offered through ITOs.

These ITP programmes are often referred to as 'Managed Apprenticeships'. The fact that there are two pathways to trades qualifications has led to speculation about the quality and value of the two approaches. However, because we haven't had information about which programmes and which institutions follow an apprenticeship model, there has been little evidence on which to base detailed analysis.

We have conducted a search of ITP programmes, consulted with ITPs and have analysed administrative data to identify Managed Apprenticeships – where it is clear that there is similar provision across the ITP and the industry training sectors.

The scope of this search was on programmes that most closely resembled New Zealand Apprenticeships, that is we define a Managed Apprenticeship as follows:

  • the apprentice is enrolled at a polytechnic or institute of technology
  • study leads to a national qualification at Level 4, consisting 120 or more credits
  • study is funded through the student achievement component
  • the participants are in work and training in a field that applies to their employment
  • training is governed by a tripartite training agreement between the institution, the apprentice and the employer
  • ITOs have little or no involvement in training administration.
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