The Government wants to see 50,000 people training in apprenticeships by 2020 and has today announced $183 million in funding for work-based training in 2017 to support this goal.
The target has been set as part of the release of the Skilled and Safe Workplace Chapter today. At present there are 42,000 people in apprenticeships. The funding - which includes an additional $10 million on 2016 - will add around 1400 more places next year.
“In a strong economy more employers have the confidence to hire and train apprentices to meet their future skill needs," says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce. "This 50,000 target signals that we will back employers and industry training organisations as they grow their apprenticeship and trainee numbers."
The Tertiary Education Commission’s new flexible funding mechanisms allows it to direct funding to the areas of training with greatest industry demand. Joyce pointed to skill shortages in construction, engineering and aged care industries.
Joyce says the funding is also part of the Government's ongoing commitment to lowering the rate of those not in employment, education or training (NEET).
The Industry Training Federation (ITF) has welcomed today's announcement.
"It's good to see the government backing employers and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) to upskill the workforce, and keeping its promise following the recession that funding would return when the demand was there," says ITF Chief Executive Josh Williams.
The ITF also welcomes the further commitment to collaboration in the announcement of the two new jobs and skills hubs, also announced today. The Auckland CBD Jobs and Skills Hub, based at Wynyard Quarter will revolve around the extensive commercial development and construction activity in the area, with the Tamaki Hub supporting the housing developments at the Tamaki Regeneration Programme.
"These new hubs are part of the Government's plan to improve outcomes for our young job seekers, and have a focus on achieving both economic and social outcomes," says Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley.