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$44.6m for apprentices and industry skills

$44.6m for apprentices and industry skills

A $44.6 million four-year package in Budget 2005 for Modern Apprenticeships, skills development and industry training continues to strengthen the conditions for sustainable economic growth, says Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"This package includes additional funding for industry training and Modern Apprenticeships, as well as new funding to support foundation learning, specifically literacy and numeracy, in the workplace," Trevor Mallard said.

"Industry training, including Modern Apprenticeships, is critical to ensuring we are meeting the needs of New Zealand business and employees, and this is clearly demonstrated through ongoing strong demand by industry.

"Industry training is an effective partnership between government, employees, and employers, with industry also contributing funding to this important investment in our workforce. This partnership helps develop a highly skilled workforce that will assist in meeting New Zealand's needs both now and into the future."

The skills package over four years comprises: $6 million to expand Modern Apprenticeships – providing an additional 500 Modern Apprenticeship places, bringing the total number of Modern Apprenticeships to 9000 by December 2006 $31.6 million to increase participation in industry training. This is expected to provide about 10,000 new industry training places annually from 2006, and $7 million to fund foundation learning in the workplace, specifically for literacy and numeracy.

"Under our government, funding in this area has increased significantly. In 1999 funding for industry training was $56.1 million. This budget means that in 2006, the Labour-led government will have more than doubled its investment to $120.5 million. By 2009 funding will increase to $131.3 million, up 134 per cent since 1999.

"Since Modern Apprenticeships were rolled out nationally in 2001, funding has increased by 340 per cent – from $6.8 million in the 2001-2002 financial year to approximately $29.9 million in 2005-06," Trevor Mallard said.

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