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December 07, 2016 at 11:15 am

The number of apprentices in New Zealand grew by 12 percent over the last two years, and completion rates for industry trainees and apprenticeships are also greatly improved. 

“Work-based learning is on the rise, and that’s great news for all of us,” says Industry Training Federation Chief Executive, Josh Williams. “We now have over 42,000 apprentices in New Zealand, and a further 109,000 industry trainees across a huge range of industries gaining skills and qualifications on-the-job." Mr Williams says.

The Ministry of Education's report New Zealand’s Work-based Learners, released yesterday, shows more industry trainees and apprentices are gaining credits and completing national qualifications at a faster rate. People beginning industry training and apprenticeships grew by 11 percent in 2015.

“With a growing economy and high employment, work-based training is now a business and government priority,” says Mr Williams.  “Work-based training is the cost-effective way to develop the right skills to meet current and future workforce needs.  Trainees and Apprentices have jobs, pay tax, don't take student loans, and develop and deploy skills in the productive economy."  

The Government recently announced a new target of 50,000 apprenticeships by 2020. Extra funding of $10 million in 2017 will help employers and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) reach that target.  

“Our industry training and apprenticeship system is set to thrive, but it relies on employers' commitment to training New Zealand's new and existing workers." says Mr Williams. "Industry Training Organisations are providing strong support to employers and trainees alike and the growth in both participation and completion bears that out.  This growth changes lives, businesses, and our economy.” 

See: Ministry of Education Report