The Government's on-the-job training scheme Mana in Mahi has been given a $49.9 million boost to extend the places available from 150 up to 2000.
The scheme was launched in August last year, starting with the 150 places, promising to eventually extend to 4000.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Employment Minister Willie Jackson made the announcement from Edgecumbe.
"Getting that first job and some relevant recognised qualifications is the first step in getting on the pathway to lifelong work," Ms Ardern said.
The $49.9 million boost sees Mana in Mahi now include young people not in employment or education.
The initial 150 places gave the equivalent of the unemployment benefit to employers who took on a worker trying to achieve a Level 4 qualification. The employers then top up the amount to at least the minimum wage.
"With Mana in Mahi, young people get the chance to achieve a formal industry training qualification, such as an apprenticeship, and get paid while they train to do a job they love," Mr Jackson said.
"Employers told us taking on a trainee is a big commitment, especially for smaller businesses. Mana and Mahi helps employers with the costs of pre-employment and on-the-job training costs."