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Apprentice programme ready to roll

3 September 2004

Apprentice programme ready to roll

A cabinet maker and carpenter by trade is taking the lead in rolling out Tradestaff’s apprentice programme around New Zealand.

Mark Godwin has been appointed National Apprenticeship Manager for the recruitment agency, which has offices around New Zealand.

Tradestaff Managing Director Kevin Eder says Mark Godwin’s hands on experience in the trades coupled with a decade as an educator provide a unique set of skills for the role.

“We had to find someone who understands the industry as well as training, and Mark’s skills exactly met the job description. Most recently he spent four years with Gough Gough and Hamer as training manager and he set up their institute of training,” Kevin Eder says.

The programme is one of the initiatives Tradestaff has taken to address the shortage of skilled tradespeople in New Zealand. Earlier this year the company also started recruiting ex-patriate New Zealand tradespeople home to help address the problem.

“We know there is a dearth of apprenticeships in the construction industry so we started in Christchurch with a pilot 18 months ago to see if we could make it work. We have already introduced 45 apprentices into training and we know there are many people around New Zealand keen to learn a trade,” Kevin Eder says.

Mark Godwin wants to have at least 100 new construction industry apprentices in training around the country by the middle of next year.

“There was a real drop-off in apprenticeships for around 10 years, which has contributed to the current skills shortage in the trades. Although many employers would like to, they are not always able to take on the responsibility of apprentices.

“Our programme takes any perceived barriers and risks away. We employ the apprentices and place them with employers, who we ask to make a commitment for at least 3 months to the apprentice for their on-the-job training,” Mark Godwin says.

Often the apprentice will become a permanent part of the employer’s team, alternatively the apprentice gets the opportunity to work with a variety of Tradestaff’s clients specialising in many different aspects of the construction industry. This gives them a broad base of skills and experience when they complete their training.

Tradestaff places people throughout the wide spectrum of the construction industry from commercial, to residential, to joinery.

The apprentices will be linked with the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) for their theory work.

Kevin Eder the programme will be run through all of the company’s 12 branches.

“Our goal is to introduce another 100 apprentices to the New Zealand construction industry in the next 12 months.

“We have young people coming to us all the time looking for apprenticeships. We know the industry needs these skills and we are confident that this programme will help to address the gap that has grown over the last few years,” Kevin Eder says.


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