Trades and Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships mix work, training and study to give people hands-on experience and help them to make a great start in their careers.  Find out all about Trades and training in New Zealand at the Got a Trade website.

Top of the South Trades Academy

The Top of the South Trades Academy (TOTSTA) was set up to help give secondary students more reason to stay at school; a better transition into work or tertiary education straight from school.

The Academy is a partnership between secondary schools across the Top of the South, the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), and Whenua Iti Outdoors. Students accepted into the Trades Academy complete NCEA at school, while at the same time working towards a National Certificate in a Trade.

Training is one day a week at campuses in Richmond, Nelson , Whenua Iti Outdoors or at select schools.

Applications are open to year 12 and 13 students who have at least NCEA Level 1, and are focused, committed to learning and keen to work towards a career in the trades.


Gateway opens a pathway from school to the world of work. This course offers Year 11–13 students one day a week in an industry work placement, which gives an opportunity to blend school study with workplace learning and experience. It delivers a hands on approach to learning that leads to nationally recognised industry qualifications.


Students who wish to apply for acceptance to the Gateway programme or the TOTSTA must submit an application form and attend an interview with the Gateway Coordinator in Term 4. Prior to a work placement, students need to demonstrate a level of responsibility and a work ready attitude.

STAR (Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource) Courses – speak to the Careers team to find out what courses are on offer and whether you should consider applying.

Useful links for information on Trades training