FAQs | Training, Apprenticeships & Subsidies

Are you finding it difficult to find answers on the changes for the Sign Making Apprenticeship, further training or the Wage Boost Subsidy and Free Fees, how it all works and if it benefits your business? View the FAQ Sheet of most commonly asked questions from our members.
Alternatively, contact our Training Expert Carol King for further information.


Training & Apprenticeships

Training and learning is an important part of our world today and in many ways it forms a huge part of our processes and the way we work within our working environment on a daily basis.  To ensure that you are doing the best you can for your business, employees and your customers you need to ensure that they are fully equipped with the most current information on standard practices, have their current licences and/or passports to be able to carry out their work to the best of their ability, while they represent your business and its reputation.  Another aspect to encourage is to educate your staff with new innovations, products and services, or to even consider the opportunity to give back to the industry by taking on a young learner, teach them how diverse and challenging our sign making industry can be.


We offer Education to Employment ……

We know that technology is constantly evolving and the demand for more creative design with sign making has become apparent and has now established itself as one of the most technical trades out there.  From digital design and brand creation to high tech architectural sign installation and traditional hand painted techniques the diversity and range of skills that are required to be a good sign maker far exceeds beyond a typical graphic designer.

The Signee brand that has recently been developed to offer those interested in our industry a place to learn where they can connect online through our website with online tutorials, videos and course content of our pre-vocational programme.   We want to ensure that we are developing the best opportunity for any applicant to enter our industry of sign making and because it has been 100% created by sign makers it will immediately be valued in any sign shop for anyone holding this qualification.   Kick start a career in sign making and get the “Signee Advantage”.

Course requirement must-haves are a) to have at least a restricted drivers licence, b) be at least 16 years or older and have gained Level 1 NCEA, or c) be currently working in the sign industry in a new role entry level role.

Other optional attributes are available with further details of Pre-vocational programme at


What you need to know to become an apprentice in the Sign Industry?

The Signmaking apprenticeship provides work based training for young people and adults to undertake key technical and operational roles in the Signmaking Industries.

The signmaking process involves many diverse skills, from computer graphic design through to digital signage and incorporates materials such as Perspex, vinyl, plastic, metal, glass and wood. Various methods are used to produce lettering for signs, depending on the project – for example, computer-controlled routers for 3D lettering and shapes from various materials, cutting and applying lettering or digital imagery to panels, banners and vehicles.

Screen-printing may also be used to produce posters and show cards, while traditional sign writing could involve designing by hand and painting with sign writing brushes using enamel and water based paints.

Please note that the nature of the work may vary with each employer.


How do I apply for an Apprenticeship?

Competenz is our industry partner and they help us recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers to our industry, identifying potential apprentices and encouraging work placements.

Competenz also ensures that our industry’s qualifications continue to meet standards and requirements as the industries technologies develop.

When apprentices enrol with Competenz they are assigned a Competenz account manager whom understands the industry and the skills needed from both the learners and businesses.

Competenz manages and supports apprenticeships for the sign making industry via a four year programme that incorporates the Level 3 and Level 4 New Zealand Certificates in Signmaking (total 240 credits).

An employee who completes an apprenticeship will have a solid grounding in their trade, knowledge of business operations, problem solving skills and a highly respected and widely recognised qualification.

The outcome of this apprenticeship programme is to provide the signmaking industry with individuals who have attained sufficient competencies and capabilities to work and developet with advancing the industry and be capable of operating at an advanced level with no supervision.

Other training options include completing just one National Certificate or a limited credit training program to suit your needs. Specialisations within these qualifications can be viewed on the Competenz website.  Read more on a Career in Sign Making