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Canterbury�fs apprentices to be celebrated

Canterbury�fs apprentices to be celebrated on Saturday afternoon

At a ceremony in Christchurch on Saturday afternoon, the city will congratulate about 170 apprentices and industry trainees from throughout the province on gaining their qualifications.

Organised by the Mayor�fs office of the Christchurch City Council on behalf of the Mayors�f Taskforce for Jobs, the ceremony has two main aims - to raise the profile of trades and trades-based training as great career options for young people and to congratulate everyone involved in making modern trades training a success - employers, the industry training organisations (ITOs), polytechnics and the young workers themselves.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says the Mayors�f Taskforce for Jobs has as a main aim to ensure than everybody under 25 in New Zealand is either in education, training or work. He says Christchurch is taking the lead in organising an apprentice graduation ceremony and hopes it will become an annual event at centres around the country.

�gThese people are essential for the economic and social development of the country and we need to celebrate them, congratulate them and encourage others to take a long hard look at apprenticeships and industry training as fantastic career options,�h Mr Moore says. �gUniversity students and the College of Education have their ceremonies, and we want to start an annual event to applaud apprentices, employers and training organisations. Christchurch, Canterbury and the rest of the country needs more of them.

�gI�fm the son of a tradesman and I�fm proud of that. I worked and went through the polytech system to become an accountant and I�fm really interested in making sure that polytechnics and trade training receives the status it deserves.�h

Apprenticeships and trade training have been an important element in developing New Zealand�fs skills since the first British colonists arrived in the mid-19th century, says Nicky Murray, a Lincoln University student who is completing a doctorate the subject. �gThe revival of apprenticeship �c shows that the idea of a young (or not so young) person learning skills through workplace training, reinforcing those skills through formal education, and being socialised into the world of work by mentors, continues to be crucial for New Zealand�fs economic and social development,�h she says.

Mr Moore says in today�fs world of student loans and debt, trades-based training is a fantastic option that more young people should be looking at. �gIn a lot of cases you get paid to work and learn a skill that will look after you for life and could be your ticket to a fortune. These days there�fs a huge range of training available - we have something like 22 ITOs involved in this ceremony, and there�fs more than 40 nationwide - and it�fs well known that a lot of our top businesspeople stated in a trade.�h

�œ Saturday�fs event is at the City Council�fs Convention Centre on Kilmore Street. It starts at 5pm. As well as presentations of certificates of appreciation, the event will feature cultural and theatrical elements and a short presentation about the place of apprenticeships in New Zealand�fs social and economic history. Civic leaders from throughout the province will attend, along with representatives of many of the country�fs ITOs. The MC is Banks Peninsula Mayor Bob Harvey.

�œ According to the Tertiary Education Commission�fs Industry Training 2003 report - www.tec.govt.nz -- there were 14,181 National Certificates completed in 2003, a 45 per cent rise on 2002 completions. Almost 30,000 employers and 126,870 trainees were taking part.

�œ Information about the Mayors�f Taskforce for Jobs, a national programme launched by Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore, is on the web, at www.jobsletter.org.nz/mtfjobs.htm

ENDS

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