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Labour and Industry Training

28 July 2005

Labour and Industry Training

Industry Training

Industry Training is a tertiary education and training system through which employees access structured training arrangements, both on-job and off-job, linked to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and brokered through Industry Training Organisations.

Industry training is a partnership between government and industry, and currently approximately 30 percent of the total cash cost is met by industry. Thirty-eight ITOs receive government funding through the Industry Training Fund.

During 2004, 139,597 industry trainees participated in industry training and Modern Apprenticeships. This represents a 10 per cent increase on the 126,870 trainees who participated in 2003. The 2004 figure is a 72 per cent increase on the 81,343 trainees who participated in 2000.

Modern Apprenticeships

Labour introduced Modern Apprenticeships soon after we became the government to increase the participation of young people (aged 16 to 21) in formal industry training and to reintroduce the concept of apprenticeships pathways to employers and young people. Modern Apprenticeships provides a support function (a co-ordinator) for Modern Apprentices and their employers. Modern Apprenticeships qualifications typically take 3-4 years to complete. In 1999 there were no modern apprenticeships compared to 7761 as at 31 March 2005. Modern Apprenticeships are available across key industries, including the electrical, building and plumbing industries.


Gateway provides senior students (years 11-13) with a range of structured learning opportunities in workplaces. Students achieve credits in the workplace, which contribute to qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework. Gateway provides the opportunity to make progress in gaining a national qualification and helps students to better understand the relevance of such skills and their classroom learning.

Gateway is free for students. Gateway funding is provided to schools for the costs associated with organising workplace learning for school students. The total funding allocated to schools in 2005 for Gateway is $9.0 million. The total number of Gateway schools in 2005 is 179. Approximate number of students that will participate in Gateway in 2005 is 5,749.

Young Apprenticeships

Young Apprenticeships will sit alongside Gateway and provide opportunities for students in their senior secondary school years to spend an extended period of time participating both on-the-job and in the school environment in training that will lead them towards a future apprenticeship. Credits and experience will be developed that will contribute towards an apprenticeship qualification. Young Apprentices differ from Gateway students because their placements are of longer duration and they are actually employed as temporary employees of the workplaces in which they are training, and are paid a wage for their labour. Labour is proposing to introduce a pilot Young Apprentice scheme during our next term of government.

Young Professionals Cadetships

Labour will investigate the possibility of reintroducing structured cadetships for people in associate professional vocations. The cadetships will typically target non-trades occupational areas where the skills required are below degree-level and are best acquired through hands-on, on the job experience. The focus will be on 21-28 year olds in occupations either not covered by Industry Training Organisations, or where trainee numbers are very low.

Skill New Zealand Campaign

The Skill New Zealand Campaign in a joint initiative between industry, unions and the government. In 2003 the government, Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions agreed to jointly campaign on significantly boosting the levels of participation in industry training across the economy. Funding of $800,000 was allocated for the campaign in Budget 2003. The campaign has included tailored brochures and communications for employers in key industries describing how the industry system works and the benefits of getting on board.

Youth Transitions Service

The government established community-run Youth Transition Services in ten regions around the country to coordinate existing services to ensure young people don't fall through the cracks after leaving school. This includes career training, job seeking advice, information on educational opportunities and customised support for school leavers who need it. Funding of $9 million a year has been provided for the Youth Transition Service, which will mean that half of all 15-19 year olds will live in regions covered by such a service.

Table One: Participation in Industry Training and Modern Apprenticeships
Industry Trainees Modern Apprentices

2000 81,343 0
2001 95,263 2,049
2002 106,997 4,344
2003 126,870 6,259
2004 139,597 7,175

Table Two: Funding currently allocated for Industry Training (Calendar Year, GST exclusive)

$ Industry Training

2000 $58.6m
2001 $61.6m
2002 $76.1m
2003 $80.3m
2004 $94.8m
2005 $106.2m
2006 $128.9m
2007 $141.5m
2008 $141.7m

Table Three: Funding currently allocated for Modern Apprentices (Financial Year, GST exclusive)

$ Modern Apprentices

2000/01 $1.6m
2001/02 $6.8m
2002/03 $14.2m
2003/04 $20.9m
2004/05 $26.3m
2005/06 $30.8m
2006/07 $35.8m
2007/08 $38.2m


Industry Training

Labour’s vision

Labour believes that every New Zealander is entitled to access quality public education of the highest standard, throughout their lives. Quality education ensures that every Kiwi regardless of who they are and where they come from can achieve their full potential and contribute to New Zealand's society and economy.

Labour is committed to a quality tertiary education and training system that will support New Zealand's economic and social development, and environmental sustainability. Labour wants to ensure that our tertiary education system is focused on quality and relevance. We want to ensure that an integrated approach is taken to tertiary education, and that barriers to participation are eliminated.

Industry Training

A skilled workforce is one of the drivers of growth and innovation. Skills lift productivity, and they lift the competitiveness of our enterprises and our industries. Skills, knowledge, information and creativity are becoming the main drivers of our country's competitive advantage.

Workplace learning provides a financial return on the investment and provides the kinds of personal rewards that grow self-esteem and independence. If New Zealand is to actively participate in the knowledge economy and society, then our people must be able to enhance their skills throughout their lifetime. Employers will need an increasingly well trained workforce to deal with the ever-changing environment in which they operate.

New Zealand must become a nation that values and encourages innovation, recognises and capitalises on our unique qualities and strengths, and competes confidently and successfully in the global marketplace.

Labour's Record

During the last two terms in government, Labour has:

- Provided for a doubling of the government’s investment in the Industry Training Fund – up from $56.1 million in 1999 to $128.9 million for 2006.

- Increased funding provided to Industry Training Organisations by over 60 per cent.

- Introduced the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, creating work-based learning opportunities for close to 8,000 young people.

- Continually increased participation in industry training. There are almost 140,000 people participating in industry training.

- Assisted Industry Training Organisations to better anticipate, and respond to, emerging skill needs in industry.

- Passed legislation to provide a balloted levy mechanism that allows industry to contribute to the cost of maintaining an effective Industry Training Organisation.

- Introduced the Gateway programme, designed to build pathways for senior secondary school students into work-based learning, and to encourage better partnerships between schools and local businesses.

- Given industry training the same status as other education and training pathways in the tertiary system.

Modern Apprenticeships

During our next term in government, Labour will:

- Provide funding for an additional 5,000 Modern Apprenticeship places, taking the total number of Modern Apprentices to 14,000 in 2008

- Allow up to twenty per cent of Modern Apprentices in any industry to be above the current age limit of 21

Industry Training

During our next term in government, Labour will:

- Continue towards our goal of having 250,000 people participating in structured industry training

- Work with employers, unions, employees, Industry Training Organisations and training providers to significantly increase not only participation in industry training, but also the quality and relevance of that training

- Work with small and medium sized enterprises and the self employed to lift participation in training

- Continue support for the Skill New Zealand partnership with business and employee representatives to enhance the reputation and desirability of trades as a career option for young people

Youth Transitions

During our next term in government, Labour will:

- Introduce a Youth Apprenticeships pilot, providing opportunities for young people to gain credits towards their apprenticeships while still at school

- Continue to work towards the goal of all 15 to 19 year olds participating in some form of education, training or work by 2007

- Expand the Gateway programme to build pathways for senior secondary school students into work-based learning to all state high schools by 2007

- Expand the Youth Transitions Service to cover all regions in the country.


During our next term in government, Labour will:

- Explore the possibility of establishing a structured cadetship programme as an alternative to institutional training for those entering associate professional roles


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