Govt extends apprenticeship scheme until end of 2023

Source: 1News

The Government is investing another $230 million into trades training and extending its trades training programmes until the end of 2023.

A construction worker on a building site.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni made the announcement on Monday.

Free trades training for all ages was rolled out in Budget 2020, at a cost $1.6 billion.

As part of its Budget 2022 rollout, the Government is extending the scheme that saw a a 55% increase in the number of apprentices since the start of the pandemic.

“A locally trained workforce provides for greater economic security. It delivers a highly skilled workforce to build infrastructure, or design the technology needed to future-proof the economy while ensuring good jobs for New Zealanders,” Hipkins said.

He said over the past two years, more than 190,000 people have benefitted from the trades training scheme, including apprenticeships, adding there has been a 55% increase in the number of apprentices since the start of the pandemic.

“A $230m investment as part of Budget 2022 provides for another 24,000 apprentices getting Apprenticeship Boost support and some 14,000 to keep being supported beyond August this year. There are already 17,000 employers involved in the programme and today’s investment means new employers can join up.

“In recognition of the significant growth in apprentices since 2020 and the employment strength in the New Zealand economy, and to extend the initiative at reasonable cost, the first-year subsidy rate will lower to $500 per month from 5 August 2022. The second-year subsidy rate will remain at $500 per month until the initiative ends in December 2023."

Included in Monday’s announcement is more support for Mana in Mahi and Māori Trades Training.

“Mana in Mahi has been an incredibly successful programme supporting over 4,719 young Kiwis into work and training. Budget 2022 will see funding for 1,600 places on the scheme over the next two years so that it can continue to train people for available employment opportunities,” Sepuloni said.

The Ministry of Social Development has established partnerships with 17 Māori entities across New Zealand which Sepuloni says is delivering unique multi-year work-focused training.

“New Zealand is seeing a huge boom in construction and building and we have plenty of people willing and ready to take up the opportunities it provides. However, many lack the foundational skills to realise their potential."