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October 19, 2017 at 06:30 pm

Boosting apprentices and improving support for employers who take on apprentices will be top of our list to discuss with the new Labour-led coalition government, says the Industry Training Federation.

"We welcome the new Government, and we look forward to working together to help grow New Zealand’s skilled workforce," says ITF Chief Executive, Josh Williams. "The Industry Training and Apprenticeships sector is in a good place and workplace learning is stronger than ever."

148,000 industry trainees and apprentices are earning and learning on the job, furthering their careers, gaining qualifications, paying tax, and contributing to economic growth without racking up student loans.

"But we need more apprentices to boost our economy and respond to skills shortages throughout New Zealand. ‘More apprentices’ was a catch cry throughout the election campaign," says Williams. "We intend to help see that through, but employers, who take on apprentices and trainees, will need more support."

"There are now more industry trainees and apprentices than university students, making employers the largest provider of post-school education. It’s time to acknowledge that. Only three out of 10 school leavers enrol in degree-level education, but tertiary education announcements almost always focus on universities."

Future investment in the Industry Training and Apprenticeships sector will help to deliver a highly skilled and productive workforce, which contributes to individual and collective wellbeing and economic success.

"The ITF looks forward to a strong working relationship with the new government to develop apprenticeships and industry trainees and keep connecting the world of education and the world of work," says Williams. "Individual growth translates into the kind of regional and economic growth this country needs."