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ITF welcomes additional vocational training places

The Industry Training Federation warmly welcomes the Government's announcement of significant additional places for Trades Academy and Gateway programmes for next year.

Trades Academies provide secondary school students the opportunity to experience vocational training in in a tertiary environment, while Gateway provides direct exposure to workplaces, and employers who offer formal workplace training and apprenticeships.

Both programmes lead to NCEA and industry credits aligned to Vocational Pathways. This provides young people a coherent qualification and a genuine head start on apprenticeships and other industry qualifications.

Critically, they also provide exposure for young people to a wide range of career and employment possibilities, to help them find their pathway beyond school.

"Seven out of 10 school leavers don't go to university immediately, and the other three will enter the workforce eventually. That means we need each and every one of our young people to get a glimpse of the world of work before leaving school and making important decisions about their next steps" says ITF Chief Executive Josh Williams.

"We know that earlier exposure to employment options and possibilities means young people are more likely to be employed, they have a chance to 'try before they buy' different options, and broaden their horizons and aspirations about workforce possibilities."

Recent earnings research has also demonstrated the financial rewards for young people who take up 'earn and learn' options when they leave school, with ITO apprentices having earned $165,000 on average more than university graduates by age 28, while also avoiding an average student loan of $30,000.

"Backing Gateway programmes also means we are steering young people to good employers who look after people from a skills and qualifications perspective, through offering formal workplace learning and apprenticeships" Mr Williams says. "At a time of rampant skills shortages, we should do whatever we can to steer young talent to employers who offer lifelong skills training and career progression."

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