No jobs, no training, no hope
At a time when New Zealand should be training the next generation of tradespeople, it is unforgivable the number of young people in Modern Apprenticeships has fallen by almost 20 per cent, says Grant Robertson.
With money from Labour’s 2008 Budget, Modern Apprenticeship numbers peaked in National’s first year in office, at 12,933 in June 2009. But by December 2011 that number had fallen by 2,499 – a drop of 19%.
At the same time the number of New Zealanders receiving in-work industry training has fallen by almost 50,000, from 133,303 in December 2008 to just 83,413 three years later. That is a 37% reduction in the number of industry trainees.
“With unemployment at a 13-year high at 7.3% and the Christchurch re-build looming, Modern Apprenticeships and workplace training have never made more sense.
“We currently have 85,000 young people not in education, training or employment. People are crying out for skills and opportunities. Kiwis want to work, and our economy needs skilled workers.
“But instead of helping people into training, the National Government is happy to sit by and watch thousands of people lose their jobs, and lose their chance to learn new skills for the future.
“That’s not the sort of high skills, innovative future that New Zealand deserves. We must be smarter than that.
“Labour is committed to apprenticeships and workplace training. Labour will back young Kiwis, and give them the opportunity to make the most of their lives here in New Zealand.
“Labour will encourage more people into apprenticeships be converting their dole payments into an apprenticeship subsidy for employers. And under Labour’s “one in a million” scheme, companies that are awarded major government contracts will be required to take on apprentices.
“It is time to give people the sort of skills, training and opportunities they deserve,” says Grant Robertson.
NOTE: Data drawn from recently released Tertiary Education Commission figures for December 2011 (the most recent data available).