The government has announced an extra $3.5 million a year to attract more people into the building and construction industry.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said in a pre-budget announcement today $14.4m would be injected into the industry training system over four years.
Mr Joyce said the funding would support 5500 apprentices by 2020 to help fill skill gaps, particularly in Auckland's construction boom.
The government also announced $9.6m over the next four years for the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training programme.
Mr Joyce said the funding would place 2500 young Maori and Pasifika students in the programme this year.
He said last year 42,000 people were enrolled in apprenticeships and trade training.
The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation will not be forced to cap student numbers and now expects to grain 11,000 apprentices next year, said its chief executive Ruma Karaitiana.
He said the trades training sector had been getting towards the end of its funding limits and was considering limiting the number of people it let in.