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7,000 Modern Apprenticeships exceed expectations

7 December 2004

7,000 Modern Apprenticeships exceed expectations

Over 7,000 young people are now in Modern Apprenticeships, gaining the skills and experience they need to prosper in today's competitive economy, Associate Education (Tertiary) Minister Steve Maharey has announced.

"In the past year alone, more than 1,000 Modern Apprenticeships have been created; an increase of over 15%," Steve Maharey said. "It's particularly pleasing that over 500 of the 7,088 Modern Apprentices are female, with the number of female apprentices growing twice as fast as the number of male apprentices. It's also encouraging that we now have more than 1,000 Maori Modern Apprentices, over 14% of the total number."

Steve Maharey praised the businesses and industry training groups whose support has allowed the government to far outstrip its original goal for this stage.

"Reaching 7,000 Modern Apprenticeships is a tremendous achievement. That we have done so this quickly is testament to the strength of the relationship between government and industry. We have worked in partnership to combat skill shortages in a number of ways and the Modern Apprenticeships programme is a perfect example of the success we're enjoying.

"We can also celebrate this achievement as a victory for young people in New Zealand. We have created 7,000 opportunities for young people to get the skills and experience they need to prosper in a competitive economy. This announcement clearly shows that these opportunities are being seized."

Established in 2001, the Modern Apprenticeships programme provides 16-21 year-olds with opportunities to earn money while receiving on-the-job training that will lead to a nationally recognised qualification in their field.

Modern Apprenticeships are now available in 31 industries, including two - building/construction and engineering – that each have over 1,000 Modern Apprentices.

ENDS

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