Government announces $7m funding boost for apprentices
A $7 million boost to apprenticeship training announced by the Government on Tuesday recognises "the real need" for more trade workers, training organisations say.
The money will be added to the $14.4m announced in last year's Budget that is being rolled out over the next four years to support over 2000 apprenticeships.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith announced the additional funding at the Industry Training Federation Workforce Development Summit in Wellington on Tuesday.
Goldsmith said: "The Government is willing to put the resources in, but we also need the support of parents, teachers, careers advisors, and businesses if we are to get more young Kiwis into the trades."
"Industry trainees and apprenticeships are in high demand, and supporting work-based training is a priority for this Government."
Industry training Federation chief Josh Williams said the extra funding was needed because industries were "crying out for skills".
"Today's funding boost recognises the current and future need for more apprentices and trainees in New Zealand. Skilled and qualified workers are the key to supporting prosperous communities and improving productivity," he said.
Williams said people needed to see trades as a valid career option.
The 148,000 trainees and apprentices currently in paid training were furthering their careers without racking up a student loan, he said.
The boost Government has a target of training 50,000 trade apprentices by 2020.