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Building & Construction Apprentice Numbers 7000

Building And Construction Apprentice Numbers Reach 7000

A huge achievement for New Zealand building industry training was announced today with the signing up of the 7000th apprentice in training at any one time with the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).

The 7000th apprentice, David Angus, 22 years old from Auckland, works for Astor Construction Ltd, and says he is pleased to be part of the celebration.

Minister for Building Issues Hon. Chris Carter helped mark the occasion by presenting David with a tool belt from DEWALT. The Minister applauded both David and his employer - Grant Rowell of Astor Construction - on their decision to get in behind industry training and congratulated the BCITO on its achievement, saying that hitting the 7000th trainee mark was very much proof that 'hard works pays off'.

David Angus was working in a call centre when he decided to make the move into the building industry. "I was attracted to the lifestyle and the 'hands on' work, but most of all it was the future potential, the career prospects are so much better. At the end of a day you can stand back and actually see what you have achieved. It's great!" says 7000th apprentice David. He enjoys the work environment at Astor Construction, "I am working with an excellent team, there are lots of laughs, they are all really positive and it's a great place to learn, it doesn't get much better than that" says David.

Sharing in the celebration was David's employer Grant Rowell and his site foreman Brian Fryer. "We realised the importance of training some time ago, recognising that the only way to ensure we have skilled people in our industry is to make the commitment and train. We currently have four apprentices in training and we are delighted with the contribution they are making to the team" says company director Grant Rowell of Astor Construction Ltd.

BCITO Board Chairman Peter Robson sees reaching this milestone as yet another step in the right direction for industry training in the construction sector.

"With our industry desperately seeking skilled staff, the BCITO has taken a leadership role by increasing capacity to meet industry needs, and reaching this milestone of 7000 trainees is a superb result. While it will take a few years for our increases in training volumes to translate into qualified trades people, we've gone a very long way to redress the skills shortages that have been 10 years in the making," Mr Robson said.

"Reaching 7000 apprentices is a hugely gratifying achievement for us all at the BCITO, and reflects the huge commitment from the wider building and construction industry, our trainees, their employers and the BCITO staff," says BCITO Chief Executive Pieter Burghout.

"We're looking forward to maintaining the momentum over coming years - including aiming to hit 10,000 trainees towards the end of 2006 or early 2007 - ensuring New Zealand has a sufficient pool of skilled and qualified tradespeople."

Mr Burghout went on to note that the BCITO would continue to work closely with the Government over the proposed licensing regime due to be fully implemented by 2009.

The BCITO was set up following the changing of the Apprenticeship Act to the Industry Training Act in 1992.

The BCITO is the national body - recognised by the Government and appointed by the industry - to set the standards for qualifications and training for the sectors the ITO covers (carpentry, cement & concrete, floor & wall tiling, interior systems, proprietary plaster cladding systems, solid plastering, and 'Health and Safety'). The BCITO is currently training 7000 trainees in these areas.

A press conference will be held at 9am, May 6 at Albany Junior High School, Appleby Road, Albany, Auckland, in the gymnasium (located off the Albany Highway between Constellation Drive and Massey University). Astor have been working on a project at this venue.

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