To date, about 120 Kiwis have entered into cadetships and apprenticeships via the Kāinga Ora apprenticeship programme. The aim is get this figure closer to 250 by the end of 2021.

Kāinga Ora Manager Social Outcomes, Georgina Ellis, heads the apprenticeship programme. She says Kāinga Ora wants to go beyond building and tenanting homes, and use the scale of its development programme to make a meaningful difference to employment opportunities in the communities where it works.

“With thousands more state homes set to be built over the coming years, Kāinga Ora identified a need to grow New Zealand’s pipeline of skilled workers.

“We saw an opportunity to connect trades training and apprenticeships to the people already living in the areas where we are hard at work.”

Kāinga Ora apprentices receive training in areas such as communication skills, financial capability and job interview techniques before they start on site. They also receive a $1,500 toolkit grant.

Team Cabling apprentices left to right: Jake, Macy and Cheyenne.

Among the trainees is Cheyenne, an 18-year-old electrical apprentice with Team Cabling in Auckland, who says apprenticeships have an advantage over some other training and internship pathways.

“One of the great things about being an apprentice is that you get to learn while you earn,” she says.

Fellow Team Cabling apprentice, 20-year-old Macy, says there are plenty of opportunities for women in trades.

“Many companies are looking to hire female staff. It’s a hugely supportive environment.”

Kāinga Ora works closely with build partners and subcontractors to understand their individual needs and ensure they get the right recruits for the job.

Miles Construction is one of nearly 40 Kāinga Ora build partners and subcontractors who have taken on new apprentices, such as 26-year-old Christian.

“I like learning new things, like building decks, foundations, how to build a house. It’s quite challenging but it’s pretty cool.”

Company director Alastair Miles says he highly recommends the apprenticeship programme.

“It’s really satisfying to bring young workers on and watch them grow in confidence. These are our builders and carpenters of the future.”

Employers of Kāinga Ora apprentices are eligible for the Government’s Apprenticeship Boost subsidy of up to $12,000 for first year apprentices and $6,000 for second year apprentices.

Learn more about the apprenticeship programme [PDF, 232 KB], or contact Kāinga Ora Manager Social Outcomes Georgina Ellis at

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Page updated: 3 March 2021