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Funding increase raises apprenticeship numbers

Funding increase raises apprenticeship numbers

News article issued on behalf of the
Hospitality Standards Institute

The number of modern apprenticeships on offer in New Zealand’s hospitality industry is set to increase dramatically over the coming year - following a major funding injection from the Government.

The sizeable funding commitment through the Tertiary Education Commission will enable the Hospitality Standards Institute to raise its current apprenticeship talent pool from 181 trainees to 270 positions by the end of 2007.

Hospitality Standards Institute chief executive Steve Hanrahan welcomed the Government’s newly announced funding allocation – pointing out that both the hospitality industry and the training organisation were ready to step up their activities in the training and job placement sector.

“Over the past few years, HSI has delivered consistent growth levels in the number of apprenticeship places being offered to the industry. This latest substantial investment by the Government is recognition that the sustainable growth in apprenticeship numbers achieved in recent times can now be leveraged up to even higher levels of apprenticeship placement,” Mr Hanrahan said.

“The 90 additional apprenticeships to be created in the hospitality industry are part of the Government’s stated aim of creating 14,000 apprenticeships across all industries in New Zealand by 2008,” Mr Hanrahan added.

Many of the additional apprenticeships will come through a groundbreaking group apprenticeship scheme which sees the Hospitality Standards Institute in partnership with the Restaurant Association of New Zealand. Under the new scheme, apprentices will be employed by the Restaurant Association, which will then oversee their employment within selected hospitality businesses in the Auckland region for the duration of their three-year apprenticeship.

Restaurant Association of New Zealand chief executive Alistair Rowe said flexibility was the key selling point for both businesses and trainees wishing to join the group apprenticeship programme.

“The group apprenticeship scheme takes away some of the responsibilities and risks associated with being the employer of an apprentice – thereby making it an attractive training option,” Mr Rowe said.

“Some businesses which have previously been on the point of taking on permanent apprentices for example have been reluctant to take the final step because their business plans may only be looking forward 18-months – two years, while an apprenticeship can run up to three years. This group scheme alleviates that issue by allowing the Restaurant Association, as the primary employer, to re-allocate the labour resource the apprentice provides.

“Similarly, the benefit for the apprentice is that during their three-year apprenticeship they can request to move around within the industry in a considered and structured pathway – say from a large catering operation to a small suburban café, to an upmarket city restaurant – each time acquiring a new skills set and working in a different environment to broaden their career experiences.

“The Restaurant Association and HSI have been planning this initiative for more than a year and both organisations are well prepared to take full advantage of the Government’s new funding package,” Mr Rowe said.

Ends -

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