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Two thousand Modern Apprentices complete training

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister for Tertiary Education

26 July 2006 Media Statement

Two thousand Modern Apprentices complete training

Two thousand Modern Apprentices have now completed their training under a scheme whose effectiveness has been endorsed by an independent evaluation, Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen made the announcement during a visit to congratulate Wellington electrical apprentice Simon Jervis – the 2000th Modern Apprentice to complete his training.

Simon, 21, works for Adam Tulloch Electrical in Newlands and has just completed the National Certificate (L4) in electrical engineering.

"It is a great pleasure to be able to celebrate this important milestone with Simon. I am delighted that he is one of 2,000 young people who have completed their apprenticeship and they and their employers are now reaping the benefits of their hard work."

New figures released today underline continuing growth in structured workplace learning. As at 31 March 2006, there were 8,838 Modern Apprentices, 14 per cent more than in March 2005. Total industry trainees numbered 119,866, nearly 12 per cent up on March 2005.

Dr Cullen today also released the report from a recent independent evaluation of Modern Apprenticeships. This shows that the programme is achieving its primary aim of increasing the participation of young people in employment and apprenticeship-based training.

"Most employers surveyed said they would recommend the programme to young staff and other employers.

"The evaluation proves what government and industry have known all along – that the programme has been an outstanding success. We now have close to 9,000 young people taking part in Modern Apprenticeships and 2,000 young New Zealanders have successfully completed their apprenticeships," Dr Cullen said.

"In 1999 employers and industry were calling for a solution to address the low uptake of apprenticeships among young people. The Labour-led government, in partnership with industry, responded to those calls with the establishment of the Modern Apprenticeships programme in 2000."

"Only six years later, Modern Apprenticeships is making a real contribution to New Zealand’s economy by improving achievement in education, building a skilled workforce and lifting business productivity," Dr Cullen said.

"The scheme's success is why Budget 2006 allocated an additional $34.4 million over the next four years to expand the number of Modern Apprenticeships to 14,000 by December 2008.

"The Labour-led government is determined to transform New Zealand into a higher growth, higher wage economy so it is important we have the right mix of skilled workers.

"Our success in revitalising industry training shows our strategy is working."

The independent evaluation raised some concerns about the quality of information on the scheme. However, Dr Cullen said the Tertiary Education Commission has begun collecting the right information to ensure the programme continues to provide quality education and training opportunities for trainees and industry. The TEC expects to provide robust data on completion and retention rates in 2007.

The independent evaluation of Modern Apprentices and latest Industry Training statistics are available at:


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