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Good to see Government valuing apprenticeships

Good to see Government valuing apprenticeships, trades and workplace training.

The Industry Training Federation (ITF) welcomes the Government’s pre-Budget announcement that $197 million will be reallocated from the fees-free tertiary policy to vocational education, and is urging it to use this funding to support more employers to offer workplace traineeships and apprenticeships.

In his pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Finance Minister Grant Robertson expressed the need for government and businesses to value apprenticeships, trades and workplace training more.

“This is a positive move." says ITF Chief Executive Josh Williams. "We need to aim more of our skills investments towards lifetime upskilling and re-skilling of our workforce, through our workplaces.

"As we have recently argued in our response to the proposed vocational education reforms, we need to see more support for employers to offer workplace training and apprenticeships. This reallocated funding needs to be used to attract and support more employers to engage in workplace training.

There is no better way to learn than by doing the real thing in a real workplace." Mr Williams says. “The existing ITO-led model is already delivering skills to the right place at the right time, matching industry need, and boosting productivity. We should be building on it, not changing it.”

New Zealand has a well-performing and highly cost effective industry training and apprenticeship system, that supports large and small employers to grow the skills and productivity of the workforce. New Zealand leads the OECD in participation rates in formal on-job-training, and 57 percent of all vocational learners are gaining qualifications through their workplaces, supported by Industry Training Organisations. However, the proportion of expenditure on workplace training has been relatively small, at just seven percent of government tertiary education subsidies.

“We agree completely that we need to value apprenticeships and workplace training more, and encourage businesses to join the Aotearoa New Zealand Skills pledge announced by the Prime Minister and her Business Advisory Council." says Mr Williams.

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