Backing trades to support rebuild

The Government is extending the Apprenticeship Boost initiative by four months to further support trades and trades training, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

The announcement was made during a visit to Fair and Square Building Services Ltd in Lower Hutt, Wellington and forms part of a suite of measures to be announced next week to help address the housing crisis.

“Extending Apprenticeship Boost helps employers keep apprentices on when times are tough. This decision keeps more people employed and learning valuable vocational skills that will accelerate our economic recovery from COVID-19,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Extending Apprenticeship Boost to run until August 2022 means employers can keep getting the subsidy for apprentices who are in their first two years of training.

“It also means employers who have apprentices starting over those extra four months can get some Apprenticeship Boost support as well, which could see more than 5,000 new apprentices able to benefit.

“We must ensure we have the workforce to build the houses needed to address our current supply issues. Extending Apprenticeship Boost will encourage more people into building trades and will assist employers to keep apprentices on, making sure the workforce is at the ready to get building,” Chris Hipkins said.

Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said it’s important apprentices have additional support during COVID-19.

“We know Apprenticeship Boost is already working for this group with $80 million being paid out to employers of first year apprentices already. Extending this initiative shows we are backing our apprentices and their employers to succeed,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Through Apprenticeship Boost, employers can access a subsidy of $1,000 per month for first year apprentices and $500 per month for second year apprentices. This support ensures apprenticeship training is available across all regions and industries.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the Government has extended Apprenticeship Boost because it works.

“We continue to invest to deliver the skills we need to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Since launching in August 2020, more than 10,000 employers have signed up and received almost $97 million in subsidies for more than 21,000 apprentices. Apprenticeship Boost is being taken up by employers across New Zealand, with 26% of apprentices in Auckland; 34% in Canterbury, Wellington, and Waikato; and the remainder in other regions.

All industries with formal apprenticeship training programmes are taking up this support with 32% of Apprenticeship Boost apprentices enrolled with BCITO, and 22% with the Skills Organisation — which includes building and construction related apprenticeships in plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying, electrical, roofing and scaffolding.

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