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5,600 New Apprentices Enter Building Trades

From July 2020, BCITO has signed up 5,684 new apprentices, compared with 2,200 for the same period last year. It has also had 1,200 new employers register to train apprentices in 2020.

“It’s great to see so many people wanting to take up an apprenticeship. There are fantastic opportunities for those working in the trades, you can earn while you learn, it’s free, and it is a sector that will be vital to New Zealand’s economic recovery,” says Warwick Quinn, BCITO Chief Executive.

The jump in numbers follows significant government support for the trades and training.

“We have 19% more apprentices in training in the first nine months than in the whole of 2019. And while it is still only October, there are almost as many new employers as there were for the whole of 2019 – with 62% of employers either joining for the first time or returning to training from July to September.”

“This tells us that the Government’s Apprenticeship Boost and No Fees schemes have directly driven more people into the trades and encouraged more employers to train. Which, for a sector still challenged with a skills shortage, is great news.”

A $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package was announced as part of the 2020 budget in May, to provide major investments in jobs and training as New Zealand gets back to work following the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown.

Some of these new apprentices are entering the trades as a second career. “We are seeing a number of sign-ups from those who have been industries most impacted by COVID-19, such as retail and hospitality.

“Building and construction is a sector that has continued to perform well given the circumstances. With building consents remaining high following lockdown, and the government committing to a number of infrastructure projects, demand for skilled labour has not gone away. A career in the trades will offer people stability in these uncertain times,” continues Quinn.

Haylee Lemon, who works at Kevin Goodall Builders in Auckland, is one of BCITO’s new apprentices. After graduating from a very uni-orientated high-school, Haylee decided to take a gap year and ended up working at Bunnings. It was here that she met her current employer.

“I have always been interested in the trades, so I jumped at the opportunity when Kevin offered me a job. I started in May, and began my carpentry apprenticeship in July. So far it has been great, and I am looking forward to my new career in construction,” says Lemon.

BCITO now has a total of 15,400 apprentices in active training.

Key BCITO Stats:

  • Total apprentice numbers – 2019 vs 2020
2019 (at 31 Dec)2020 (to date)
  • BCITO has had 8,500 apprentices sign up in 2020
  • Carpentry has a 17% increase comparative with 2019
  • Painting and Decorating has seen a 33% increase comparative with 2019
  • Trowel Trades has seen a 61% increase comparative with 2019

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