Employer groups say they will not be able to afford to take on more trainees despite the Government last week announcing a new apprenticeship scheme.
Prime Minister John Key said the scheme will attract another 14,000 apprentices over the next five years.
The first 10,000 people to enrol will get $1000 towards tools and course costs and the same amount will be paid to employers.
But the chair of Masterlink - which places plumbing apprentices - says the industry is struggling and cannot afford to take on more trainees.
The Motor Trade Association says the same goes for its members, particularly as the warrant of fitness system has been relaxed which will cause a drop off in business.