Developing Metrology Technicians


What we're doing

The Measurement Standards Laboratory introduced an apprenticeship-style approach to developing new talent in 2019. This was developed in response to a 2017 Royal Society report about a deficiency in the practical skills of those entering the science technicians workforce in New Zealand.  Our first appointee has exceeded all expectations and has developed a passion for our profession; she will be graduating from MSL in 2021. 

The MSL apprenticeship programme will continue but we also want to provide tools and encouragement to others in the measurement community who wish to recruit their own apprentices.  So, we are providing an outline of our programme, with supporting material, to assist in growing both the technical and behavioural skills of new metrologists. MSL encourages you to send us your lists of resources you have found valuable for developing the skills of a metrology technician so we can update the lists.

Read our Case Study, on the journey MSL has taken to get to this point, and explore the links to reference documents developed for recruitment, supported-learning and assessing progress.   In addition, links are provided to current funding and support initiatives from various NZ agencies.

Supporting Documents

Apprentice programme framework - a document that sets out a two-year development plan, with milestones, and provides templates to assess and track technical and behavioural skills.

Qualities of an MSL apprentice - a document that lists the desirable qualities to look for when recruiting

Apprentice job advertisement (specific to dimensional metrology)

Apprentice role description (general)

Apprentice resources (general) - a list of activities, tasks, projects and online information sources that all apprentices can use

Apprentice resources (specific to dimensional metrology) - a list of activities, tasks, projects and online information sources specific to a dimensional apprentice

Link to Nina Wronski’s apprentice blog - an insight into the experiences of MSL’s first apprentice



Where to go for more information

There are many places to go for more information, advice and financial assistance and we’ve linked them here. Note this is for our New Zealand measurement community.

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF; also known as free trades training) will support learners to undertake vocational education and training without fees. TTAF will make a range of training and apprenticeship programmes at sub-degree level free for learners. It is targeted towards industry skill needs where demand from employers for those skills will continue to be strong. A perfect fit for metrology laboratories.

List of Government supported qualifications and programmes (engineering)

Another avenue for financial support can be found from Work and Income’s Apprenticeship Support Programme which is a cross-agency government response to help employers retain and bring on new apprentices.

Skills is another useful place to find more information about supporting and training the next generation of technicians check out their FAQs: Apprenticeship boost support package for Employers