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Apprenticeships And Industry Training Land Significant Post-COVID-19 Boost

Competenz sectors are set to benefit significantly with the announcement of free apprenticeships and industry training commencing 1 July 2020.

As part of the $1.6 billion boost in the vocational education sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has launched the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), with the aim of providing COVID-19 relief and addressing skills shortages in targeted growth sectors.

“We applaud the Government’s support of vocational education. Keeping our workforce skilled and nimble is critical for the future of our sectors and our economic recovery,” said industry training organisation Competenz CEO Fiona Kingsford.

Under the Government’s $320 million package, fees for all apprenticeships and targeted areas of industry training will be covered by the fund from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022. Minister Hipkins said the scheme focused on courses likely to lead to employment.

"We know as a result of COVID-19, many New Zealanders will be looking to retrain and employers in key sectors will need more skilled people," he said.

Industries that are likely to play a key part in New Zealand’s economic recovery have been singled out for training support.

“Competenz covers sectors targeted by the TTAF, such as engineering, manufacturing, food processing, and forestry. These are industries with identified skills shortages. Free industry training and apprenticeships will mean that employers don’t have to compromise when it comes to training and retraining employees, as they rebuild their businesses,” said Ms Kingsford.

The scheme is set to benefit current and budding apprentices alike.

“It is especially heartening that the scheme will be applied to existing learners already on their apprenticeship journey, with Minister Hipkins stating those currently learning on-the-job would be eligible for a partial refund if their training extended beyond 1 July 2020,” said Ms Kingsford.

For more information on how Competenz can help people access Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Funds call 0800-526-1800.

Visit the Tertiary Education Commission website for:

· further details on the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund

· FAQs for Learners

· Targeted areas at sub-degree level covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund

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