First-time application to receive funding for work-based learning

First-time application to receive funding for work-based learning

Last updated 19 April 2023
Last updated 19 April 2023

This page outlines the process for providers currently funded by TEC through an Investment Plan (even if currently Plan-exempt), to seek funding for work-based learning for the first time.

This process also applies to providers registered with New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) who do not currently receive TEC funding. Please note that any providers looking to receive TEC funding for the first time are also subject to the standard “new provider” requirements.

Providers new to work-based learning

The vocational education and training system has been reshaped to meet the needs of a fast-changing future of skills, learning and work. There is a strong focus on employers, delivering the skills they need in the workplace, providing more support and flexibility for their employees / learners to earn while they learn, and ensuring greater consistency in vocational education across Aotearoa New Zealand.

In 2023, work-based learning is limited to those providers that were named in transition plans from Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) or those who were already delivering work-based learning.

Other existing providers (registered with NZQA) that want to move into work-based learning can now apply for 2024 funding. We will only consider applications that are proposing to address an unmet need, without replicating existing provision.

To be considered for work-based learning funding, providers must:

  • offer planned provision that targets an unmet need, such as:
    • a new or different programme; and/or
    • delivery in a different geographical area; and/or
    • provision targeting a new cohort not currently engaged in education; and/or
    • learning that is not currently available in a work-based context, and/or
    • learning delivered in kaupapa Māori/Māori medium settings; and
  • have an External Evaluation and Review (EER) rating of 1 or 2; and
  • be low financial risk (determined by TEC) or where TEC accepts the financial risk; and
  • have appropriate approvals from NZQA and endorsements from the relevant Workforce Development Council (WDC) (underway if not complete, or approval will be conditional on receiving these); and
  • evidence of support and evidence of need from employers and industry; and
  • appropriate processes that allow reporting to the Industry Training Register.

How to apply

Please email us at or get in touch with your Relationship Manager.

You will be guided through the requirements. If we determine that you are likely to meet the above criteria, you will be provided with an application form. You will need to submit this application form and all relevant evidence by 7 July 2023, along with your investment plan documents.

Meeting the criteria is not a guarantee of funding

Only applications that meet these criteria (including at least one area of unmet need) will be considered for funding. Please note that meeting these criteria does not guarantee funding. All new work-based learning funding requests will be considered at the same time to determine which ones offer the best value for learners, industry, and other relevant stakeholders, in the context of the funding available for 2024.

What are the unmet needs?

We are looking for new work-based learning that addresses an unmet need. This could be provision in subject areas that have traditionally been offered in a classroom environment, such as IT, animal care, health, etc. We welcome innovations in this area to expand the scope of work-based learning.

For subject areas where work-based learning is well established, we will welcome applications that demonstrate innovations in delivery or assessment that increase learner engagement and achievement.

We are also interested in applications that show engagement with employers new to work-based learning, or learners from underserved groups such as Māori and Pacific ākonga, or learners with disabilities who are not currently reached by existing provision due to location, mode of delivery, or other barriers that the proposed provision seeks to address.

What is the Industry Training Register?

The Industry Training Register (ITR) is the reporting tool for work-based learning enrolments. All providers wishing to offer work-based learning must be able to report using the ITR.  This can be done either directly through the provider’s student/trainee management system, or via a bureau service.

It is very important that any provider looking to offer work-based learning for the first time fully understands the set up and ongoing costs of connecting to the ITR. Please discuss this with your student/trainee management system provider to ensure you can commit to the costs before you proceed with an application to TEC to offer work-based learning.

TEC is currently working on a new data exchange system to replace the Single Data Return (SDR) and the ITR. This is currently expected to be launched in 2025. Please factor this in your decision-making and discuss it with your student/trainee management system vendor.

Please refer to the ITR Guide for extensive information on how to connect to the ITR.

Use of unit standards

Work-based learning programmes must be unit standards-based. This is an important consideration in the design of your programme as only unit standards can be reported in the ITR.