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Not Enough Tradies To Meet Demand

Wellington, 12 February 2024: A chronic shortage of tradies in New Zealand means new apprentices are already in hot demand, and industry specialist trades training business EarnLearn expects that trend to continue as the economy gains momentum through 2024.

EarnLearn Executive Director Kaarin Gaukrodger says, “In specialist trades like scaffolding, electrical, plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying there just aren’t enough skilled people to fill the jobs available and with the predicted economic growth there will be even more pressure on the workforce.

“The upside is that there are good opportunities for school leavers who are looking for a hands-on, learn-on-the-job role where they will be paid to work and train toward a skilled career.

“Not everyone is cut out for academic study or sitting behind an office desk all day,” she says.

“Industry training is a great way to gain a nationally recognised tertiary qualification. It means you’re out in the field learning the practical aspects of the job, then undertaking learning and assessments with support from training advisors, tutors and your employer to complete the training programme and gain your tertiary qualification.

“And the best part is you’re being paid as you progress through your training, so you don’t come out with a huge student loan and having to find a job.”

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Apprenticeships aren’t only for school leavers, there are those looking for a career change and an apprenticeship is open to all ages for a range of trades, including electrical, plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying, scaffolding, industrial measurement and control, and crane operation.

EarnLearn supports apprentices through their training, with ongoing goal setting and coordination of block courses to keep the apprentice on track throughout the training while also working with the trainees’ supervisor to ensure they are gaining exposure to the work aligned to the qualification.

Gaukrodger adds, “We are continually refining our training delivery and content to ensure they are current and fit for purpose for both the apprentice and also the industry and employers. This is vital so at the conclusion of the training EarnLearn has helped mould a well-rounded and skilled apprentice that is a valued part of the workforce.”

Case study: Caleb Samuel - Apprentice Plumber, Gasfitter and Drainlayer

Caleb knew he wanted a career where he wasn’t stuck in an office. He signed up to the EarnLearn Gateway programme, which allows students to start training while still in school, and began work in a plumbing company. He’s now four years into his trade and training.

Following his Gateway programme Caleb was offered an apprenticeship with Harbour City Plumbing in Wellington. He’s now almost fully qualified, with his apprenticeship due to finish later this year.

“The people at EarnLearn have helped me all the way through, they really care and help to motivate me.”

Caleb loves being able to learn on the job, and earn a wage while he’s learning. He doesn’t need a student loan, as he pays for his apprenticeship weekly, making it more affordable.


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