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Builder apprentice breaks 1000th barrier

Builder apprentice breaks 1000th barrier

Twenty-four-year-old Cameron Pratt is a builder with a difference - he’s just become the 1000th Modern Apprentice to complete his training.

Cameron Pratt began his apprenticeship in January 2001 with M & J Builders Ltd, a Manukau house-building firm. He is now employed full time by them as a carpenter and site foreman.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard paid a visit to a Manurewa building site this morning to present Cameron with a certificate to mark his achievement.

“The Modern Apprenticeship programme is really starting to deliver,” Trevor Mallard says. “Cameron’s achievement is just the tip of the iceberg. Many others will be completing their training over the coming months.”

The programme began as a pilot in 2000 and was expanded nationally in 2001 with most Modern Apprentices taking up to four years to complete their training.

"The Modern Apprenticeship programme has gone from strength to strength after receiving repeated increases in funding from government.

“We’ve pumped in nearly $70 million since 2001.The extra funding provided last year was to lift the number of Modern Apprentices taking part in the programme to 8500 by the end of June 2005. That’s a target that will be easily met,” Trevor Mallard says.

Quarterly statistics show there were 7760 Modern Apprentices in training at the end of March 2005, up from 7175 at the end of December 2004.

Engineering (16.2 per cent) and Building (14.7 per cent) were the two largest sectors, followed by Motor Engineering (11.9 per cent).

The Auckland region had the largest number of Modern Apprentices at the end of March with 22.8 per cent. Canterbury had the second highest on 11.5 per cent and the Southern region had 10.3 per cent.

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