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More young people than ever in work training

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Youth Affairs

26 July 2006 Media Statement

More young people than ever in work training

More young people than ever are successfully engaging in work training and securing positive futures for themselves and for New Zealand, Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.

Figures released by Tertiary Education Minister Dr Michael Cullen today show that as of 31 March this year, 119,886 people were involved in industry training – up 12,524 or nearly 12% on the same period last year. Of that group, 8,838 were involved in modern apprenticeship training, with 97 per cent of those aged 15-21 years. There are also 450 more modern apprentices than at the same time last year – a 14 per cent jump.

"The record numbers of industry trainees, and in particular the increase in those completing modern apprenticeships, shows that the workplace is continuing to be popular and successful choice for young people, with the chance to "earn while you learn" a strong incentive for many. It is also tribute to the willingness of employers to invest in the future by taking on young trainees, and to young people's own motivation to learn and work hard, so that they can support themselves and be successful," Nanaia Mahuta said.

"Modern Apprenticeships are playing a critical part in the government's strategy to transform New Zealand into a high skilled, high wage, knowledge-based economy.

"Among the thousands of motivated young people engaging in modern apprenticeships is 21-year-old Wellingtonian Simon Jervis, who has just completed his National certificate (L4) in electrical engineering. Simon is the 2000th person to successfully complete his apprenticeship. I congratulate him and all the other young people who are involved in industry training and advancing their futures.

"I would also like to also encourage more Maori and Pacific Island people to get involved in industry training and modern apprenticeships, which provide a way to 'earn while you learn' and develop highly marketable job skills.

"Meanwhile, the strong support and involvement of industry is critical to the ongoing success of these initiatives, which not only provide fantastic opportunities for young people, but also address current skill shortages and help drive economic growth.

"The Labour-led government is continuing to support industry training with an additional $34.4 million over the next four years to expand the number of modern apprenticeships to 14,000 by December 2008," Nanaia Mahuta says.

ENDS

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