OPINION: Several Southland businesses are involved in the Christchurch rebuild, making the most of the opportunities it provides for them.
Some have employed new staff, and others have apprentices in training, as they take advantage of the work on offer.
I applaud this kind of initiative from southern employers because of the benefits it will return to the province.
Over the next few years, with the rebuilding of Christchurch and the coming housing construction boom in Auckland, there are great opportunities to train more young people in vocational careers that will set them up for their working lives while supporting economic growth.
In line with this the Government has invested $28 million in the apprenticeship reboot subsidy.
National introduced the subsidy to help more people into apprenticeships, and to support local businesses, in regions like Southland, to be able to take apprentices on.
Announced in January, as part of an overhaul of the apprenticeship scheme, it aims to get more apprentices qualified and more in priority trades such as construction, engineering, infrastructure, and electro- technology.
In Southland 183 new apprentices have already signed up through the subsidy this year, while nationwide 8010 people have taken up training.
We need a responsive training system, one that can adapt and change as industries evolve and develop.
High-quality workplace-based training produces more highly skilled workers, and is critical for building a more competitive and productive economy - one of our priorities this year.
Under the reboot subsidy, the first 10,000 new eligible apprentices who sign up for training are able to apply for a subsidy of $1000 towards the cost of tools and off-job course costs, or $2000 for those in priority trades. Employers are also eligible for an equal payment.
National is supporting New Zealanders into vocational careers which will set them up for their working lives.
We're investing in the potential of our workforce to ensure more people in places like Southland will be able to meet the needs of businesses now and in the future.
» Bill English (National) is the electorate MP for Clutha-Southland.
- The Southland Times