An expert taken out of Rt Hon John Key’s (Prime Minister) speech to North Harbour Club. Click here to read the full story on www.scoop.co.nz.
So today I am announcing a new initiative to expand and improve apprenticeship training.
This has a number of parts to it:
- From 1 January next year, we are going to combine Modern Apprenticeships and other apprenticeship-type training under an expanded and improved scheme called New Zealand Apprenticeships. These new apprenticeships will provide the same level of support, and the same level of subsidy, for all apprentices, regardless of their age. Fewer than half the people doing apprenticeship-type training are actually funded as proper apprentices, through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, and we are going to change that.
- We are going to boost overall funding for apprenticeships. The current top-up for Modern Apprentices will be redistributed across all apprentices, regardless of age, as an extension to their learning subsidy. In addition, overall subsidy payments will be increased by around $12 million in the first year, rising over time. Increased funding for apprenticeships will allow industry training organisations to invest in the quality of education for apprentices, lower fees for employers and encourage growth in the uptake of apprenticeships.
- We are going to boost the educational content of apprenticeships. At a minimum they will require a programme of at least 120 credits that results in a level four qualification.
- We are going to set clearer roles and performance expectations for ITOs, and give employers other options if their ITOs don’t perform; and
- To lift the profile of, and participation in, apprenticeships, we are going to give the first 10,000 new apprentices who enrol after 1 April this year $1,000 towards their tools and off-job course costs, or $2,000 if they are in priority construction trades. The same amount will also be paid to their employers.
As a result of these changes, and stimulated by the boom in construction and other trades that is already underway in Christchurch, we estimate that around 14,000 new apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast.
The whole idea is to kick-start new apprenticeship opportunities ahead of the curve, so that thousands of New Zealanders get to learn a new trade that will last them a lifetime.