n opportunity to earn and learn through New Zealand apprenticeships is administered by the TEC or Tertiary Education Commission.
These apprenticeship programs are open to residents between the ages of 16 and 21 years of age. However, if you are outside that age range, you may still be able to
work as an electrician apprentice by taking advantage of other training
options you can learn about through a local TEC co-ordinator.
A co-ordinator is an important person in your apprenticeship training. This person isn't an employer. Rather he works with you and your employer to help set up and oversee your training so that you are properly trained and receive accreditation when you have earned it.
Before you can enter the New Zealand apprenticeships program, you need to be hired by an employer that has been approved by TEC. Finding an employer is a matter of searching job websites and watching the help wanted ads. You can also stay in touch with your local TEC co-ordinator and chapters of electrician organizations to find out about job leads.
Because there is competition for these job openings, you should make yourself as appealing to potential employers as possible by gaining a strong background in English, science, and math. Although you can enter the New Zealand apprenticeships program at a younger age, many employers prefer to hire older students who have completed Year 12 in their studies.
If you are uncertain about whether an electrician apprenticeship is a good choice for you, it might help to attend a Taster Course. These are free three day courses that introduce you to the New Zealand electricity supply industry and let you get actual hands on experience working with hand tools and performing simple skills.
Once you have decided you want a career as an electrician, your next step will be to find an employer to hire you, and then work with your local TEC co-ordinator to file the official paperwork. The New Zealand apprenticeships for electricians take about four years to complete so you should be committed to learning just as you would if you chose to go to university instead.
During your apprenticeship you will be paid wages based upon your level of expertise so you will in effect be paid to learn your skills. Your work duties will be carefully supervised by your employer and the TEC to ensure your safety. New Zealand apprenticeships are governed by a Code of Practice that stipulates your responsibilities as well as those of your employer and TEC co-ordinator.
The papers filed with the TEC are legally binding and also act as a guideline in your electrician apprenticeship. Part of this training includes off-job classes that your employer must release you from your regular job duties to attend. You and your employer must meet quarterly goals in your training so that you show consistent progress toward earning your New Zealand electrician's credentials.
You'll be learning valuable skills on the job and also learning about theory and practice in the classroom. Your training will be in-depth and thorough to ensure your safety and that of the public since you will be working on electrical systems that affect private and commercial buildings.
While the TEC oversees your training, it does not act as an employer. You will have to abide by your employer's policies and regulations when it comes to things such as time off and benefits. If problems do arise during training, your contract manager at the TEC should be informed as he may be able to mediate and prevent escalation of the difficulties.
New Zealand apprenticeships offer many advantages. Working under an electrician apprentice will get you into the workforce right away so you can start earning a paycheck. You will earn a valuable skill that ensures you have life-long employment potential. Plus you can avoid the expense of a traditional college education.
When your electrician apprenticeship is complete, you must submit one final form to the TEC and request your proof of completion. This will give you national qualification to live and work as an electrician throughout New Zealand or you may choose to stay with your sponsoring employer if there are open positions.