New Zealand’s Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Steven Joyce recently announced NZ$183 million in funding for work-based training in 2017, as the Government announces a new target to have 50,000 people to be training in apprenticeships by 2020.
Joyce stated: “This funding is an additional $10 million on 2016 and more funding for industry training than in any of the previous five years. At the moment we have 42,000 people in apprenticeships and apprenticeship type training, this funding will add around 1,400 places next year and get us well on our way to our goal of 50,000.’
“In a strong economy, more employers have the confidence to hire and train apprentices to meet their future skill needs. This 50,000 target signals that we will back employers and industry training organisations as they grow their apprenticeship and trainee numbers.
“We have the capacity to add further places again during the year next year if required. The Tertiary Education Commission’s new flexible funding mechanisms allows it to direct funding to the areas of training with greatest industry demand.
“The increasing demand for apprentices reflects strengthening economic conditions, business confidence and a push to meet skill shortages in a range of industries such as construction, engineering and aged care.
“We’re in the middle of our biggest ever building boom and we have an unemployment rate which is the lowest since 2008. We have more people moving into employment and on-the-job training – a great way to get people into a life-long career.
“There are currently 22,000 individuals in the 15 to 19-year-old ‘not in employment, education or training’ (NEET) category. However with the growth in apprenticeships along with lead-in schemes like Maori and Pasifika Trades Training, Trades Academies, Skills Hubs, Youth Services and Youth Guarantee, we’re committed to getting the numbers even lower.
“Funding for industry training was boosted in this year’s budget by $14.4 million over four years. I am confident businesses will be well supported by their Industry Training Organisations in recruiting and upskilling their staff.”