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Government Recognises Value Of Apprenticeships

For further information:

Jill Ovens

National President

Association of Staff in Tertiary Education

ASTE Te Hau Takitini o Aotearoa

(04) 801 5098 or (027) 4424 809

Government Recognises Value Of Apprenticeships

The expansion of Modern Apprenticeships announced in today’s Budget confirms the high regard New Zealanders have for the concept of apprenticeships, says the union that represents polytechnic trades tutors.

ASTE National President Jill Ovens says her union congratulates the Government on its commitment to providing opportunities for young people to access work-based education.

“The traditional apprenticeship was based on a combination of on-job training and off-job training at the local polytechnic. It has always been our view that the two are complementary,” Ms Ovens says.

The Labour-Alliance Government plans to allocate more than $41 million to increase the number of modern apprentices from the current 2500 to 6000 by December 2003.

Key to the programme are Modern Apprenticeships co-ordinators whose role is to provide young people with a mentor to guide, encourage and see them through to completion.

Ms Ovens says this system harks back to the days when tradesmen saw it as their duty not only to pass their skills on to the next generation, but also to pass on the trades “culture”.

“It was more than ‘training’; it was about the passage of a young person into the adult world.”

The union also welcomes the $14 million increase over the next four years in the Industry Training Fund.

This funding will provide for growth in demand arising from recent industry training reforms, including higher level training that will raise workers’ skill levels.

“We are pleased that this Government recognises the contribution of industry training to the development of a knowledge economy. It’s not all about high-tech research,” Ms Ovens says.

The Government contributes 70% of the cost of industry training and industries pick up the remaining 30%.


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