The Council of Trade Unions says the Government's new investment in apprenticeships is a drop in the ocean and far more effort is needed to create jobs.
Prime Minister John Key ob Friday announced a new apprenticeship scheme with funding of $12 million in its first year.
Mr Key estimates that, as a result, about 14,000 more apprentices than previously predicted would begin training in the next five years.
CTU secretary Peter Conway said that is a positive step, but 14,000 apprenticeships over five years is nowhere near enough.
Mr Conway said the Government cut $55 million from industry training in its first term and more investment is needed there.
He said the focus also needs to be on job creation, because people will continue to move to Australia if companies are not given the opportunity to bid for major manufacturing contracts.
Mr Conway said far more effort is needed to create jobs.
The Building Industry Federation hopes the revamped scheme could help to lead a recovery in the economic cycle.
Chief executive Bruce Kohn said it could not have been introduced during the recession, because employers did not have the work available to take on new staff.