The Government has made it easier for New Zealanders who want to train in industries where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from COVID-19.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the fund, announced as part of Budget 2020, will encourage and support New Zealanders to undertake vocational education and training in these high-demand industries.
“We know as a result of COVID-19, many New Zealanders will be looking to retrain and employers in key sectors will need more skilled people,” Chris Hipkins said.
“We’re working hard to connect the two sides of the equation by making this process as simple and practical as possible. It’s designed not just for school leavers but for people in a range of circumstances and stages of their lives.
“That means we’ve removed costs for learners, apprentices or employers – for the next two and a half years, are targeting courses and programmes that are more likely to lead to jobs. We will also be deliberate in promoting vocational education for all ages.
“Every course is different and the cost for learners at tertiary providers, industry trainees and apprentices vary but in many cases they will save between $2500 and $6500 per year.
“Apprentices and learners whose courses started earlier in the year but continue beyond 1 July will be eligible for a partial refund.
“Circumstances dictate the need to move fast. Starting on 1 July, and for the rest of 2020, we’ve initially targeted vocational programmes in the following areas:
- Primary industries, including agriculture, horticulture and viticulture, fisheries (including aquaculture) and forestry;
- Construction, including building, plumbing, and civil engineering;
- Community support, including youth work, care for elderly, counselling and community health, including mental health and addiction support;
- Manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology;
- Electrical engineering; and
- Road transport (eg heavy vehicle operator).
The list (attached) of targeted areas of training covered by the fund will be available, with more detail, on the TEC website.
“All apprenticeships including those outside the targeted areas will be eligible for fees support. This is aimed at industries that are expected to be particularly hard hit by COVID-19, such as hospitality, tourism and food, where employers can keep their apprentices on.
“For 2021, we will refine these initial targeted areas to reflect the work that is underway across government to better understand how industry workforce needs are being affected by COVID-19 and what skills will be needed to support the country’s economic recovery,” Chris Hipkins said.
The accelerated establishment of Workforce Development Councils (which will replace the industry training leadership part of former ITOs) and Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) will provide a stronger industry and regional voice as we implement the fund.
“The $320 million fund is part of a wider package to get New Zealand moving again announced on Budget Day. It will work alongside the Employer Apprenticeship subsidy scheme, of which we’ll be announcing further details shortly.
“These responses to COVID-19 supercharge the big changes we are making to the vocational system. They build on the knowledge that learning isn’t limited to a classroom – it’s something that can take place anytime, anywhere.
“We are making a significant paradigm shift from seeing learning as a system or institution that learners need to fit their lives around, to seeing learning as something that needs to flex and fit around each person and the lives they live,” Chris Hipkins said.
Q. What will this fund achieve?
A. This fund will remove the cost for a range of training and apprenticeship programmes at sub-degree level for learners.
Q. What industry skills needs will be targeted for funding?
A. The fund will be targeted towards particular industry skill needs where demand from employers for these skills will continue to be strong, or is expected to grow, during New Zealand’s recovery period from the impacts of COVID-19.
Q. What are examples of specific training programmes that will be targeted?
NZC – NZ Certificate; NZA – NZ Apprenticeship
Full details will be on TEC’s Website.
Q. Are all apprenticeships covered by the fund?
A. All apprenticeships including those outside the targeted areas will be eligible for fees support.
Q. Are learners who have studied previously or have existing qualifications eligible for funding?
A. The fund will support learners enrolling, and currently enrolled, in eligible programmes, regardless of prior study.
Q. Why are those who have studied previously or have existing qualifications eligible for funding?
A. To ensure the fund supports all people including those whose employment situation was adversely affected by COVID-19 or are currently studying in areas projected to have high demand, learners who previously studied or have higher-level qualifications are not excluded.
Q. What costs will be covered by the fund?
A. The fund will cover course fees, compulsory course costs, and compulsory student services fees paid by learners or employers to TEOs.
Q. When will the fund be available?
A. The fund will be available from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.
Q. How much will a learner/apprentice save by taking one of these courses?
A. Every course is different and the cost for learners at tertiary providers, industry trainees and apprentices vary. But here are some examples:
New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory (Level 3)
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4)
New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3)
New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3)