Substantial support for training and apprentices

Substantial support for training and apprentices

Last updated 15 May 2020
Last updated 15 May 2020

Making sure that trainees and employers stay connected is crucial to getting through this economic downturn, and requires a deliberately targeted and planned response to encourage people into training and for employers to keep their apprentices.

$320m targeted investment support for free trades training in critical industries

Supporting learners of all ages looking to gain skills or re-train in targeted areas, including displaced workers and current learners, this new fund will make a range of targeted vocational education and training programmes (including apprenticeships) free for all learners from 1 July 2020 until 2022.

Making targeted vocational training courses free – for all ages, not just school leavers – over the next two years will help people who have lost their jobs retrain and also allow new employees in some essential services to train on the job. The initiative will include courses linked to industry skills needs, in building and construction, agriculture, and manufacturing, and also vocational courses like community health, counselling and care work.

It will be available for sub-degree (Level 3 to 7) qualifications and micro-credentials within the targeted vocational areas, and will cover learning at both providers and in the workplace. 

The fund will target specific areas of vocational education and training where demand from employers is already strong or expected to grow over the coming years, and, alongside the extended wage subsidy for apprentices, it’s expected this fund will help employers retain and continue to train their apprentices. The fund will be available from 1 July 2020.

Training responses to support New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery

This $16 million Budget initiative provides funding for transitional Industry Training Organisations and Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) to work with industries, industry groups, and training providers to develop great training responses to contribute to the COVID-19 recovery.

Led by transitional Industry Training Organisations and later, WDCs, the project teams will work with industry and training providers to:

  • develop local and industry training responses to COVID-19,
  • design alternative arrangements for apprentices who have lost jobs,
  • with providers, design learning pathways that work for industries, and
  • review existing training standards and programme components so they are fit for purpose as short packages of learning or as part of changed pathway designs.

As part of RoVE, the arranging training function that currently sits with transitional Industry Training Organisations will move to providers, including the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology while their standard setting function will move to WDCs

This initiative allows the system to respond quickly. It will ensure focus, and links with industries and providers, will stay in place during this transitional period.

$19m for group training schemes to support apprentices

The last thing we want to see is apprentices and trainees having to be let go when we really need them, so this initiative will support group training schemes to retain and keep training their apprentices.

The 2020 Budget provides $19.360 million to support Group Training Schemes to continue to employ around 1760 current apprentices, who predominately work in construction-related industries.

Group Training Schemes employ apprentices and place them with host firms who otherwise may not be able to support apprentices. They provide pastoral support to apprentices and remove administrative burden from employers.

In the COVID-19 driven economic downturn, many firms are temporarily unable to afford the fees that cover Group Training Schemes’ costs and may have to lay off apprentices without further support.

Up to $412m support for employers to retain and keep training their apprentices

This funding is intended to support employers and apprentices to continue training. Details about how the scheme will operate are being developed and further announcements will be made in the next month.

$50 million to support Māori trades training

Led by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, this exciting initiative will see Māori community groups partnering with the Crown to establish and design group training schemes that employ Māori as apprentices and support the placement of apprentices across a range of workplaces. It will work by providing tailored support for Māori employers to take on Māori apprentices.

$32m for increased funding to meet demand in Trades Academies and specialist support for schools and tertiary education organisations

To help build up New Zealand’s future skilled workforce, the volume of Trades Academy places in secondary schools will be increased by 1,000 places a year from 2021. This is encourage even more young people along trade and vocational education pathways.