The Apprentices Act (1948) provided for the establishment of the office of Commissioner of Apprenticeship to be responsible for apprentices throughout the Dominion and to act as chairman of the 32 New Zealand apprenticeship committees. He is assisted by nine district commissioners who operate regional offices and chair the 223 local committees. Apprenticeship Orders may provide for technical school training and most of them do so. It is for the apprenticeship committee in each case to decide whether that training should take the form of evening classes, day training, block courses, technical correspondence tuition, or, indeed, any other form of training that the committee may select. Normally, though not necessarily, the course will be provided by one or more State schools. Generally, the study course of the town apprentice consists of day release and evening classes, whereas the country boy is provided with technical correspondence tuition and block courses — that is to say, continuous periods of attendance at college during 40 hours a week for one or more weeks. In this way both have the same opportunities but in different forms.
Though the scheme has been operating for over 10 years, it is still changing. There is a definite trend towards block courses in place of half-day a week release, and there is also a tendency towards the replacement of small local evening class centres by correspondence tuition. Typically an apprentice is directed to attend one block course, usually of three weeks' duration, once during each of his first three years of apprenticeship, and any further attendance must be by arrangement between the apprentice and his employer with the concurrence of the Department of Labour. There is a tendency for this to take place to an increasing extent.