Free training brings in 100,000 new tradies

More than 100,000 Kiwis have signed up for the trades, thanks to our free vocational training and apprenticeships scheme.

We introduced free trades qualifications in targeted areas and free apprenticeships in July last year, as part of our response to COVID-19.

As we continue to move forward with our recovery and rebuild, we’ll need a skilled workforce to get on with the job. Encouraging more people into the trades through free training and apprenticeships is one of the ways we’re helping to grow this workforce.

The programme covers training in the primary industries, construction, community support, manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology, electrical engineering, road transport, conservation and information technology.

These are areas that we’ll need to grow as we continue to invest in infrastructure projects and upgrade schools, hospitals and roads around New Zealand through our rebuild.

This week, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund had reached an important milestone, with more than 100,000 people signing up for free vocational training or apprenticeships since July last year.

These learners will play a key role as infrastructure projects ramp up and our economic recovery and rebuild continues.

We know that because of COVID-19, many people are looking to retrain and gain new skills. That’s why we’ve made the free training available to people of all ages, not just school leavers – and nearly a quarter of the Kiwis who have taken up training so far are aged 40 or over.

We’ve also seen a number of women signing up for a career in the trades, with more than 7,000 women starting as apprentices since July 2020.

Alongside the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund, we’re also backing employers to keep and take on apprentices with our Apprenticeship Boost payment.

This helps employers keep early stage apprentices on during tough times, when they’re still developing the skills for the job. The payment provides employers up to $1000 a month for first year apprentices and $500 a month for second years. Since Apprenticeship Boost was rolled out last year, more than 10,000 employers have signed up, supporting more than 21,000 apprentices.

If you’re interested in learning a new trade, find out more about the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund here. You can read more about Apprenticeship Boost here.

Stay in the loop with the latest announcements by signing up to our mailing list and following us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.