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Modern Apprenticeships programme hits target early

12 November 2003 Media Statement

Modern Apprenticeships programme hits target early

In a continuing sign of New Zealand’s strongly performing labour market, the government’s flagship Modern Apprenticeships programme has reached its target of 6,000 trainees by the end of 2003 three months early, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Modern Apprenticeship numbers have grown rapidly over the last year and by September 2003 there were 6,073 Modern Apprenticeships in place. The programme targets those aged 15 to 21 years old and was introduced by the incoming Labour-led government in 2000 to provide a work-based, prestige training pathway for young people after a decade of declining participation by this group in industry training. It received a cash boost of $600,000 in September to meet the increased demand, taking expected expenditure on Modern Apprenticeships to $25.2 million this financial year.

Speaking at the skill new zealand campaign Wellington road show, Steve Maharey said the early achievement of the Modern Apprenticeship target is an important milestone.

“The Modern Apprenticeships programme is an excellent example of the kind of success trades-based training and workplace learning opportunities are having and the popularity of these types of opportunities with young people. It is now available in 30 different industry sectors, widening the apprenticeship concept beyond its trade origins.

“Training is the essential springboard equipping New Zealanders to succeed in today’s economy and making a major contribution to the government’s drive to return New Zealand to the top half of the OECD.

“It’s good to see steady progress being made towards the target of 6,500 Modern Apprenticeships by June 2004 – and then a further increase to 7,500 trainees during 2006. Modern Apprenticeships is a prestige training pathway and at some time in the near future the government and industry will need to determine how large it should eventually become,” Steve Maharey said.

In addition to Modern Apprenticeships, there are a number of workplace learning and industry training opportunities now available to young people which collectively saw a further 17,744 young people involved in on-the-job training as at 30 September 2003.

“It’s also great to see young people taking up other work-based learning options. The government wants to build up an even wider variety of opportunities to ensure all young people successfully make the transition from school into the world of work or further education and training.

“New programmes like Gateway and the range of regionally-focused employment support provided through Work and Income are already showing strong results, indicating young people are taking the expanded range of training opportunities now available,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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