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Employment as an Etco Apprentice

Etco will employ you for the three years and nine-month duration of your apprenticeship.  

During your employment with us, you will learn the practical aspects of the trade through placements with a range of host companies. 

Because we want to give you this wider experience, the Etco apprenticeship is three months longer than apprenticeships with other employers. Your range of experience [work exposures] at Etco will open more choices for you when you graduate. Etco graduates are highly sought after by the sector. 

Because Etco exists for the single purpose of getting you through your apprenticeship, around 90% of our employed apprentices will complete their apprenticeship on the due date compared to around 60% apprenticeship on-time completions nationally. 

Our observation at Etco is that if our graduates don’t immediately transition to high paid employment on the day of their completion, it’s probably because they don’t want to; or because they are off to explore the world on their OE using their skills and qualification to pay their way. 

In 31 years of economic ups and downs, Etco has never made an apprentice redundant. All our apprentices received full pay for 100% of the time during the Covid-19 disruption.  




On-Job Learning:

  • You will be placed with a range of host companies to work under the supervision of experienced registered electricians.  We may move you to different host companies from time to time to ensure you get a broad set of experiences and capabilities across the industrial, domestic, and commercial environments.  

  • You will have an Apprentice Mentor who will visit you in the workplace for a progress appraisal four times a year and to check on your wellbeing and safety. You will likely be in contact with your Mentor frequently between appraisals.  

  • Every week you will receive an email link to your eDiary portal. eDiary is how we track the range of exposures you are getting to different types of work, and how many hours you are spending on each. Your Mentor will bring an eDiary report to your appraisal and discuss it with you and your host supervisor to ensure you are getting a wide range of exposures and experience.  

  • If the exposures you need can’t be achieved at your host company, we’ll move you to another host who can provide them. This is a unique and valuable aspect of an Etco apprenticeship. 

  • When eDiary indicates you’ve had enough exposures to be signed off as competent at an activity, your Mentor will open access to an assessment book so you can complete and close off the NZQA credits for that skill set. 

  • We know that work relationships are important and if you are not getting along with people at your host company – we can arrange for you to move to another host. 

  • Sometimes your host company will run out of work for you. Don’t worry, we’ll move you to another host to ensure you have continuous progress. 



Off-Job Learning:

  • During the first three years of your apprenticeship, you will be attending weekly night classes during term time. (If you can’t get to night classes, we can discuss on-line classes). 

  • You will attend block courses in each of your first three years and will receive support to prepare for your exams in the fourth year. 

  • All the night class learning material is available through our Moodle based on-line learning management system (LMS). The Etco in-house LMS is the only interactive learning management system available for the electrical industry in New Zealand.  

  • To ensure you get maximum opportunity to learn in the way you want to learn, you can review course material prior to attending the classes and afterwards. We can see our students are often online in the mornings and evenings and lunch times, over weekends – and even at 2:00am on a Sunday morning – after the party. You can do it your way. 

  • We support students with differentiated learning needs including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and others, through provision of tools, and the ability to change the LMS to Dyslexia friendly views at the click of a button. 

  • From time to time the system will open up an on-line assessments for you, You get instant results and several opportunities to re-sit each assessment. After several attempts, the system will lock, and you will need to discuss any issues with your tutor who will then unlock for you to have another go. 



Pastoral Support

  • Most of our employed apprentices are between 17 and 24 years old. We recognise this can be an ‘interesting’ transition from school and a sometimes-fraught period in life. For this reason, we provide support through our pastoral care and wellbeing team. 

  • ‘Switched-On’ is a confidential support service our apprentices, and staff, can call to get things off their mind – or to seek advice or just someone to talk to. 

  • The Switched-On team regularly assist with range of issues from relationship and flat-mate problems, connecting with government agencies for financial support, dealing with workplace problems, and supporting wellbeing and mental health. 

  • If Switched-on feel that you need a higher level of support, they can discuss referral to highly qualified counsellors with significant experience in mental health support. 

  • All Etco apprentices have access to our free Southern Cross Healthcare Scheme 



Work Ready Programme for new apprentices

All new Etco Apprentices attend a residential work ready programme and gain the necessary skills to hit the ground running at their first host placement.

You’ll learn about workplace safety, electrical theory, financial literacy, self-awareness, and coping strategies. Etco will also provide you with a comprehensive tool kit and certification in elevated work platforms.

By the time you complete the programme you’ll have your EWRB Trainee Limited Certificate, newfound friendships, and the confidence to start your electrical apprenticeship.




Our booking portal is currently under maintenance from Friday the 8th December and returning Monday 18th December 2023.
Please return to make your bookings then, or alternatively please ring 0800 ASK ETCO to speak with your local Training Centre Administrator.