Employers, trainers and potential apprentices are all the winners under the Government’s moves to help NZ recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

EIT has been flooded with enrolments – almost 500 learners started training and studying free last month in programmes targeted towards industries where demand from employers for skilled workers will continue to grow, or is expected to grow, during NZ’s recovery from impacts of the pandemic.

And employers in those targeted industries can apply for payments to help keep and take on new apprentices so they can earn and train towards their qualifications.

Patrick Jones, EIT’s executive director of portfolio and performance, reports that semester two enrolments are spread across all the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) eligible programmes, but there is particularly high demand for primary industries (agriculture and horticulture), construction and electrical engineering offerings.

EIT’s School of Trades and Technology has initiated a second electrical engineering cohort to support the booming numbers.

Local electrical business owner, Darren Bambry of Kinetic Electrical is pleased the government is addressing assistance for employers to support apprentices through its Apprenticeship Support Programme initiatives, including Apprentice Boost (AB).

“It’s been perplexing that Government help has previously been directed at paying fees for apprentices while the employer gets no support and not much return while the apprentice is being trained. I think subsidising this for the employer is a good initiative.”

In addition to owning a local electrical firm, Bambry set up a national franchise group of electrical businesses that now has 26 members around the country. He says that a number of these firms, including his own Hawke’s Bay firm, will be hiring apprentices over the next year or two to meet growth demands.

“For a long time, there has been a clear shortage of apprentices so it’s good that people are now considering trades training,” he says.

In addition to the TTAF programme enrolments, EIT also currently has about 240 apprentices enrolled across carpentry, horticulture, and automotive engineering. As well as the study fees for new apprentices being covered by TTAF, in most cases, the employer of the apprentice will also be eligible for the AB subsidy.

Photo courtesy of EIT

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