Rebuild not the only avenue for apprentices

9:39 pm on 26 January 2013

The Industry Training Federation says the rebuilding of Christchurch is not the only avenue for boosting apprenticeships.

Prime Minister John Key announced a new apprenticeship scheme Friday, saying there is a big opportunity to train more people in vocational careers, especially with ongoing construction in the earthquake-damaged city.

Federation chief executive Mark Oldershaw said the new scheme needs to be looked at more broadly than just in regard to Christchurch.

He said developments in Auckland, as well as in the hospitality, agriculture and tourism sectors, will require new apprentices.

Labour says the scheme lacks any focus on job creation, so that people can continue working in New Zealand once their training is complete.

But Mr Key said about 14,000 more apprentices will start training in the next five years under the new scheme, than would otherwise have been the case.

Business New Zealand says Government will need to closely manage scheme

Business New Zealand says if the Government wants to build economic confidence on the basis of skilled labour, it will need to manage the New Zealand Apprenticeships scheme very closely.

Chief executive Phil O'Reilly says it is critical the scheme provides the skills that industries need.

"As businesses get more confidence to hire, as the rebuild takes place, then that's the time for the Government say 'okay, what is the right investment that we can make, not just apprenticeships at that time but also in traineeships.'"

Phil O'Reilly says employers are only now gaining enough confidence to take on apprentices, especially in Canterbury.

The Building Industry Federation is hoping the revamped scheme will help to lead a recovery in the economic cycle and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation hopes it will accelerate growth in the building sector.