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Canterbury to mark graduation of 217 apprentices

Media Release 12 May 2006

Canterbury to mark graduation of 217 apprentices this evening

A ceremony in the Christchurch Town Hall this evening will celebrate the qualifying of 217 apprentices from around the province.

Their skills development has been overseen by 24 industry training organisations (ITOs – the bodies which develop and arrange workplace training for industry) and all are employed.

Last year’s ceremony had 165 graduates. Christchurch City Council and its economic development arm Canterbury Development Corporation arrange the graduation ceremony for apprentices to publicly recognise their success, acknowledge the importance of trades to the economy and to help highlight apprenticeships as strong career options for young people.

“These graduates are all in good jobs and most of them have been earning while learning and gaining their qualifications,” says Mayor Garry Moore. “They’re working in areas of the economy that need more skilled workers and they’ve got a hugely valuable qualification and skills, in many cases without any substantial debt. How many students can say that?”

“Apprenticeship is a great option for young people wanting to get ahead and these graduations are a way for us to say, ‘Good on you’ and to encourage more of our young people to look into it,” Mr Moore says.

Speakers at the Town Hall ceremony include Mr Moore; Ian Sillars, Scott Technology’s operations manager, who began as an apprentice fitter and turner; Andrew Shaskey, a Canterbury joinery apprentice who last year performed very well in an international skills competition; and local MPs Jim Anderton, the Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, and Lianne Dalziel, whose portfolios include Commerce and Small Business.

The graduation ceremony begins at 6pm, in the main auditorium. It is free. About 1000 family members, friends and supporters of the graduates are likely to attend. The awarding of certificates will begin at about 6.30pm

- Information about apprenticeships is on the web at www.apprentice.org.nz

ENDS

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