Pre-trade training

Pre-trade training provides a good stepping-stone for someone looking to get started in a particular industry, giving both a foot in the door and a taste of what is to come. It is a good way to get some practical skills as well as a basic understanding of how that industry works, plus it sends good signals to potential employers.

When is pre-trade training a good option?

  • If you want to get an apprenticeship or other workplace training but your prospective employer did not believe you have enough knowledge or practical experience to start one. You may even be able to do work experience with that employer during your course.
  • If you want to gain workplace training unit standards which in turn can shorten your future planned training (eg apprenticeship).
  • If you want to see what a certain job or industry is like without having to commit long term
  • If you want to get an apprenticeship and you want to show a potential employer your commitment to the industry and to learning more.

How do you get into pre-trade training?

Pre-trade training courses are generally offered by polytechnics or through private training establishments (PTEs). Most courses offer a combination of practical work and theory. All courses will have a web page detailing what the course involves, what NZQF qualification level it offers, what is needed to be accepted into the course, what the course can lead on to and most importantly, what it will cost.  

Some education providers have things like open days where visitors can learn what is available and hear from students who have already taken the pre-trade training path.  Open days can also help you work out your funding options, and whether there may be scholarships or grants available for students.

The pre-trade qualification you get depends on the course you do. Some courses lead directly on to more training options, and if they are part of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) you can cross credit them to a national certificate in the future. Some courses are not part of the NZQF so it is important to check this out too.

Learn more about pre-trade training from Careers New Zealand

Find out more about in-work training