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Labour commits to doubling Modern Apprenticeships

18 May 2002 Media Statement

Budget 2002
Labour commits to doubling Modern Apprenticeships

An extra $41 million over the next four years is included in Thursday’s budget to more than double the number of Modern Apprentices to 6,000 by December 2003.

Speaking at Labour’s annual Congress in Wellington Prime Minister Helen Clark said the government expected the 3,000th Modern Apprentice to sign up on the scheme by next month.

“Modern Apprenticeships was a flagship policy for Labour which we took into government and implemented in our first hundred days.

“The new learning partnership between the government, employers and the community provides a vocational and training alternative for 16 to 21-year-olds which has proved extremely popular – so much so that we will shortly hit our end of the year target of 3,000 modern apprentices.

“Employers like the scheme because Modern Apprenticeship brokers take the hassle out of employing an apprentice for them. Young people and their families know the value of giving young people a trade at the start of the working lives.

“The scheme is a key government response to closing skill gaps in our economy, something National completely failed to address during the 1990s when it all but scrapped young people’s access to apprenticeships,” Helen Clark said.

Steve Maharey said the additional $41.02 million provided in Budget 2002 takes in total the Labour-Alliance Government’s investment in Modern Apprenticeships to $92.5 million over the next four years.

“Modern Apprenticeships are now available in 27 industries, including tourism, forestry, plastics, boat building and aquaculture. The scheme has grown rapidly from a pilot programme in 2000 to a mainstream training programme meeting the needs of young people and business today,” Steve Maharey said.


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