$42m trades training boost to help quake rebuild

11:21 pm on 12 May 2011

The Government will spend $42 million on trades training to assist with the rebuild of Canterbury following devastating earthquakes in the region.

The pre-Budget announcement was made in Christchurch by Prime Minister John Key on Thursday.

The "Skills for Canterbury" reconstruction package promises up to 4500 new workers in construction trades.

The extra money will create about 1500 new training positions and a further 3000 places will be met by existing funding.

There will also be $1.5 million in funding for Work and Income to subsidise getting 650 people into training and work by the end of June.

Mr Key says there is also the need to bring in some highly-skilled people from overseas and they will be working with the Department of Labour to see where those shortages are.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce told Checkpoint the construction area is going to be an important sector over the next several years.

The Budget will be delivered on 19 May.