Backing the trades to support the rebuild

 Backing the trades to support the rebuild

The Government is extending the Apprenticeship Boost initiative by four months to further support trades and trades training, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

The announcement was made during a visit to Fair and Square Building Services Ltd in Lower Hutt, Wellington and forms part of a suite of measures to be announced next week to help address the housing crisis.     

“Extending Apprenticeship Boost helps employers keep apprentices on when times are tough. This decision keeps more people employed and learning valuable vocational skills that will accelerate our economic recovery from COVID-19,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Extending Apprenticeship Boost to run until August 2022 means employers can keep getting the subsidy for apprentices who are in their first two years of training.

“It also means employers who have apprentices starting over those extra four months can get some Apprenticeship Boost support as well, which could see more than 5,000 new apprentices able to benefit.

“We must ensure we have the workforce to build the houses needed to address our current supply issues. Extending Apprenticeship Boost will encourage more people into building trades and will assist employers to keep apprentices on, making sure the workforce is at the ready to get building,” Chris Hipkins said.

Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said it’s important apprentices have additional support during COVID-19.

“We know Apprenticeship Boost is already working for this group with $80 million being paid out to employers of first year apprentices already.  Extending this initiative shows we are backing our apprentices and their employers to succeed,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Through Apprenticeship Boost, employers can access a subsidy of $1,000 per month for first year apprentices and $500 per month for second year apprentices.  This support ensures apprenticeship training is available across all regions and industries.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the Government has extended Apprenticeship Boost because it works.

“We continue to invest to deliver the skills we need to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Since launching in August 2020, more than 10,000 employers have signed up and received almost $97 million in subsidies for more than 21,000 apprentices.  Apprenticeship Boost is being taken up by employers across New Zealand, with 26% of apprentices in Auckland; 34% in Canterbury, Wellington, and Waikato; and the remainder in other regions.

All industries with formal apprenticeship training programmes are taking up this support with 32% of Apprenticeship Boost apprentices enrolled with BCITO, and 22% with the Skills Organisation — which includes building and construction related apprenticeships in plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying, electrical, roofing and scaffolding. 

Media contact: Richard Trow 021 278 7233

 

Q&A

How much will the government invest in Apprenticeship Boost?

The government is investing a total of $380.6 million for Apprenticeship Boost.

For how long will Apprenticeship Boost be available?

Apprenticeship Boost started in August 2020, and will now run until to August 2022. 

How much will the extension cost?

Based on current levels of demand and uptake, we expect the cost of a four month extension to be approximately $75 million.

Will the eligibility criteria for Apprenticeship Boost be changing?

No.  The eligibility and application criteria established in August 2020 are unchanged and will apply for the extra four months.

How and when can employers apply for Apprenticeship Boost?

Employers can apply for the subsidy through the Work and Income website. Employers and their apprentices must consent to information sharing with the Tertiary Education Commission, and Inland Revenue to receive Apprenticeship Boost. Employers must agree to the terms in the Apprenticeship Boost Declaration. This includes the employer’s agreement:

·         to retain the apprentice.

·         that they are complying with your obligations under the Minimum Wage Act 1983.

·         that they will abide by the Code of Good Practice for New Zealand Apprenticeships.

·         that the apprentice has freely given their consent in writing to the information about them in your application being shared between the employer, MSD, TEC and MBIE, and has completed the relevant Apprentice Consent Form.

How is an employer eligible?

An employer will be able to receive this support if they employ an eligible apprentice (i.e. one that is enrolled in a Level 4 New Zealand or Managed Apprenticeship programme, and is in the first or second year of their apprenticeship).

Who determines if an apprentice is eligible for funding support?

The Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development have developed eligibility criteria and a process to confirm if an apprentice is eligible. Transitional industry training organisations (ITOs) and tertiary education providers will need to ensure enrolment data is up-to-date and accurate so correct decisions can be made by the relevant agencies.

Will there be priority/targeted industries that are eligible?

No. There are no priority/targeted industries for this support.  All TEC-approved apprenticeships are covered by this funding.

Where should I direct questions about Apprenticeship Boost?

Please send your questions to Apprenticeship_Boost@msd.govt.nz with the subject line: Apprenticeship Boost.

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