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June 20, 2017 at 05:00 pm

Today's $7 million boost for industry training and apprenticeships is welcome news for employers, industry trainees, and apprentices, in the face of skills shortages across the economy, says the Industry Training Federation.

Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Tertiary Education Minister Louise Upston announced the funding increase this morning at the ITF Workforce Development Summit in Wellington.

Ministers, MPs, agencies, employers, educators, and Industry Training Organisations have gathered to discuss skills, work, and productivity.

"148,000 industry trainees and apprentices are in jobs, furthering their careers, earning and learning, gaining qualifications, paying tax, and not racking up student loans," says ITF Chief Executive, Josh Williams. 

"Today's funding boost recognises the current and future need for more apprentices and trainees in New Zealand. Skilled and qualified workers are the key to supporting prosperous communities and improving productivity." 

We have a world-class system for developing skills and gaining qualifications across many industries. Today's summit is a great show of support for strengthening this system and boosting the role of industry in education, and learning in the workplace.

"We need more people, young and old, to see work-based learning as a valid pathway, at a time when industries are crying out for skills," says Mr Williams.  

"Recognising the economic and social contribution of our current 148,000 industry trainees and apprentices, is a good start."