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Modern Apprenticeships to close the skills gaps

Hon Steve Maharey
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Embargoed until 1am, 20 July 2000
20 July 2000 Media Statement

Modern Apprenticeships to close the skills gaps

The Government is confident that its Modern Apprenticeship programme will have a significant impact on skills gaps in the economy, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey announced today that twelve Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators have been selected to run pilot programmes across eighteen industry sectors. Some of the pilots will offer Modern Apprenticeships nationally and others on a regional basis. 500 modern apprenticeships will be in placed in on-job mentored training by the end of the year. The programme will expand nationwide at the beginning of 2001 and aims to provide training for 3000 modern apprentices by 2002.

“Since the policy announcement on 22 March there has been an extremely strong and positive response to Modern Apprenticeships. Skill New Zealand has chosen the first pilots from a very strong field, receiving over 50 expressions of interest from a wide range of organisations.

"The first pilots are ready to go immediately and will deliver more than 500 Modern Apprenticeships by the end of the year.

"Modern Apprenticeships have struck a chord with employers and organisations throughout the country since the policy was announced in March. It delivers a very practical response to an identified need in the community and a gap in our current education and training pathways.

"The need to tackle emerging skills shortages in our economy is urgent. For example, a recent survey by the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association reported that 45 percent of Auckland businesses were having difficulty recruiting skilled staff.

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"Modern Apprenticeships are a brand new vocational and educational pathway for 16 – 21 year olds, combining the strength of the apprenticeship tradition with the best of modern workplace learning.

"Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators will work with Industry Training Organisations and education providers to set up the new training arrangements. They will provide apprentices with one-on-one mentoring support they will also significantly reduce the administrative demands on employers and make it easy for them to recruit and train young people”.

“Co-ordinators will also work with schools and community organisations to provide entry points for young people at the same time as working with employers and industry groups to locate employment and training opportunities.”

The Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators selected for the pilot phase are as follows:

Agriculture Industry Training Organisation (ITO) Agriculture Sector – nationwide
Forest Industries Training Forestry sector – nationwide
Printing Industry Training Organisation (ITO) Printing sector – nationwide
TANZ Polytechnics
TANZ (Tertiary Accord New Zealand) is a consortium of polytechnics, including Manukau Institute of Technology, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT), Otago Polytechnic, and the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) –formerly trading as the Manawatu Polytechnic.. Carpentry, and Engineering, throughout the Auckland, Central North Island, Canterbury and Southern regions. In addition Hospitality will be available at Manukau, Furniture and Joinery in Central North Island, and Apparel and Textiles in Otago.
Apprentice Training NZ Engineering and Plastics sector in the Auckland region
(The Electrical Training Company Ltd) Electrical and Telecommunications sectors – Auckland, Wellington and Southern regions
(Whangarei Education & Business Services) Engineering sector – Northland Region
Hikurangi Learning Centre Electrical, Bakery, Retail, Agriculture sectors in the Northland region
Job Finders Tauranga Hospitality, Furniture, Joinery, Building & Construction, Engineering & Food, Manufacturing, Road Transport - Tauranga region
G & H Trade Training Carpentry, Joinery and Transport sectors in the Hawkes Bay region
WOOLPRO Wool harvesting sector – nationwide
Public Sector Industry Training Organisation Nationwide in the public sector, initially with a conservation focus

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"Skill New Zealand will also be working with a number of other organisations participating in the pilot phase. These include the boating industry, amongst many others, who are currently reviewing their qualifications so they better meet the needs of their industry. Once this work is completed the Boating Industry will be well placed to participate in Modern Apprenticeships.

"The strong response from organisations wanting to be involved as Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators is very encouraging. A wide range of pilots have been selected to test delivery arrangements across a number of industries and in a mix of regions.

"Industry Training Organisations, polytechnics, community providers, and group training companies are all represented among the first pilot Modern Apprenticeships Co-ordinators.

"There is a significant Mäori dimension associated with several of the pilots. The Hikurangi Training Centre, a Mäori community provider, has been chosen as one of the Modern Apprenticeship Coordinators; the Federation of Mäori Authorities will be working with WOOLPRO, another of the Co-ordinators; and Mäori apprentices will form a significant number of the apprentices in Forest Industries Training.

"In addition, all the Co-ordinators will have targets for Mäori and Pacific Islands people’s participation and achievement in Modern Apprenticeships.

"Skill New Zealand will evaluate the pilots. This will enable enhancements to be incorporated before the national rollout of Modern Apprenticeships from January 2001. The Government has set a target of having 3000 Modern Apprentices by the end of 2002, and will invest $42.2 million in the initiative over the next four years," Steve Maharey said.

Employers and prospective apprentices wanting to participate in Modern Apprenticeships should contact their local pilot co-ordinator or call 0800 SKILLNZ.


(Note to Eds. Steve Maharey will address representatives of the Modern Apprenticeships pilots at a training workshop for Apprenticeship Coordinators being held in the Deloittes Lounge, Level 3, Westpac Trust Stadium, Wellington, Thursday 20 July 2000 at 5.30pm. The lounge will be open for camera set up from 5pm).


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