Trainees & Work experience

Internships in New Zealand

Trainees & Work experience

New Zealand is a participant in an international trainee programme designed to give young people the opportunity for further education and occupational training, and to enlarge their professional experience and knowledge of other countries.

Participating countries include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. If you’re aged between 18 and 30 (21 to 30 for Americans) and have completed a minimum of two years’ vocational training, you may be eligible for a trainee position in New Zealand.

The trainee agreement covers many professions but your position must be in the occupation for which you were trained. Positions are usually granted for a year and can sometimes be extended for a further six months. Information about the trainee programme can be obtained from the department of employment (or similar) in participating countries.

Technical and commercial students who wish to gain experience by working in industry and commerce in New Zealand during their holidays can apply to the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE), which has around 85 member countries. A good knowledge of English is essential and applicants must be enrolled at a college or university and be studying agriculture, architecture, engineering, science or a related subject.

Your wages should cover your living costs and your employer should insure you against accident and illness. Travel costs must be met by the trainee. Information is available from the IAESTE website ( ) and in New Zealand from UNITEC Institute of Technology, Private Bag 92-025, Auckland (Tel. 09-849 4180).

Young people who are studying or working in agriculture, horticulture or home management can participate in an exchange programme operated by the International Agricultural Exchange Association (IAEA). This programme provides between 6 and 14 months’ work experience on a farm in New Zealand. A fee is charged, although participants are paid wages and given 'free' board and lodging. For information contact the IAEA office in your home country or IAEA, Park Lane Arcade, The Strand, PO Box 328, Whakatane (Tel. 07-307 0086)..

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