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Another Boost For Skills Active Apprentices

Skills Active applauds the government’s latest measure to support sport, recreation and performing arts employers to hire and keep on apprentices during the Covid-19 recovery period.

The new Apprentice Boost initiative is a $380 million fund to provide wage subsidies to encourage organisations to take on apprentices, or retain the ones they have.

This includes employers who have staff completing Skills Active’s Senior Pool Lifeguard, Specialist Swim and Water Safety Teacher, Outdoor Leadership and Entertainment and Event Technology qualifications.

Skills Active’s Exercise Professional and Facility Operations apprenticeships, due to be launched in 2020, will also be covered by the Apprentice Boost.

The amount of the wage subsidy paid to the employer will vary depending on how far the apprentice has progressed through their training. Employers can receive up to $1,000 per month for an apprentice in their first year, and $500 per month for an apprentice in their second year – up to total of $18,000 in subsidies.

Further to the Apprentice Boost is the Regional Apprenticeships initiative, which will provide targeted support in the regions to apprentices who have lost their jobs, and Māori and Pasifika apprentices.

“We are thrilled to see more help for apprentices and their employers as we emerge from the lockdown period,” says Skills Active chief operating officer Maren Frerichs.

“Through this scheme, organisations and businesses will be able to take on and retain new staff – both young people entering the workforce, and other workers who are retraining or upskilling in our industries,” Ms Frerichs says.

“This is particularly valuable in those areas that have been hardest hit by Covid-19, such as outdoor recreation, tourism, performing arts and entertainment.

“Professionals in our industries play a key role in keeping New Zealand communities fit, active, healthy and happy. We need to sustain the learning and development that’s going on in that vital skill base.”

Ms Frerichs says more detail is expected shortly on the Apprentice Boost scheme, which will be administered by the Ministry of Social Development.

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