First regional apprenticeships schemes approved

  • Hon Shane Jones
Regional Economic Development

The first five apprenticeship schemes under the Regional Apprenticeship Initiative (RAI) have been approved, opening up 300 apprenticeships, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today.

“In mid-June I announced reprioritised funding of $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to support regional apprenticeships because of the impact COVID-19 was having on regional economies and employment.

“Thanks to some fast work by the Government and regional employers, just over a month later we have approved the first five of these apprenticeship schemes,” Shane Jones said.

“We have approved just over $12m for the five schemes which are to be run by TradeUp, HEB Construction, Cook Brothers Construction, Acrow Scaffolding and Brazier Scaffolding.

“TradeUp will receive $8m to act as a third party to facilitate smaller firms to get in on the apprenticeship scheme.

“HEB will receive $1.6m, Cook Brothers $1m, Acrow $1.4m and Brazier $400,000 to employ and train apprentices in their businesses.

“In total this will mean jobs and training for over 300 new apprenticeships focusing on people who have been displaced from their jobs and Māori and Pasifika peoples.

“They will ensure New Zealand has a pipeline of skilled workers to support regional economies in the future, help apprentices stay connected to employment, and help regional communities and employers to thrive,” Shane Jones said.

Editors note

The Regional Apprenticeship Initiative is part of the wider Apprenticeship Support Programme

The initiative allows for up to $40,000 of support per apprentice. This includes a wage subsidy of up to $16,000 for the first year of training and up to $8000 for the second year. It also includes additional funding to help with other business support and pastoral care so the employer and apprentice can successfully maintain the apprenticeship.

Employers must top up their funding to ensure apprentices are paid either the adult minimum wage or the training wage and not be accessing a wage subsidy or other similar apprenticeship support from any other source.

For more information:

The schemes:

TradeUp is an employment placement provider that specialises in placing and supporting rangatahi into full-time sustainable employment. They specialise in working with small to medium trade-based employers.

They have successfully placed approximately 500 unemployed jobseekers into full-time sustainable employment within the trades sector over the last 18 months.

TradeUp Limited will work as a third party facilitator placing up to 200 people into apprenticeships and providing pastoral care and wage and business support to apprentices and employers.

They will focus on 18-30 year olds who have been displaced as a result of Covid-19, Māori and Pasifika, and those who are working as un-skilled labourers and who have not had the opportunity to enrol as apprentices and become qualified tradespeople.

They work in mainly in the construction sector but will also look for opportunities outside of that industry.

TradeUp has extensive relationships with employers and employer associations throughout the North Island and are an experienced provider with a wealth of hands on knowledge of modern apprentices and background in apprenticeships in the trades

HEB Construction (HEB) has been in business in New Zealand since the late 1970s and belong to the VINCI Group, as part of the VINCI Construction International Network.

HEB has been trading for over forty years and in that time has trained a large number of apprentices with many moving into supervisory or management positions. HEB’s experience and systems are well developed and refined.

HEB is currently working on some large and diverse construction projects which has increased their need for skilled staff.

They intend taking on up to 40 new apprentices in various trades and will provide employment, a variety of training opportunities and ongoing pastoral care for each apprentice.

HEB works in a number of regions including:

  • Ōpōtiki
  • Rotorua
  • Manawatū-Whanganui
  • Greymouth
  • Selwyn District
  • Queenstown

Cook Brothers Construction is a national commercial construction company with regional branches in Auckland, Canterbury, Otago and the Southern Lakes.

As a large and growing company it has the capacity to undertake projects throughout New Zealand, while still offering the benefits of a quality community focus and a ‘One Team’ approach. Cook Brothers Construction currently has a pipeline of confirmed work valued at $80 million, and a further pipeline of probable work of $92 million.

They are developing an in-house apprentice training platform to accelerate learning through on-the-job buddy systems, tools skills training, professional development coaching, and construction cost awareness.

Cook Brothers will support up to 25 apprentices and will provide employment, training and ongoing pastoral care for each apprentice. This will allow apprentices to build sustainable careers in construction and will support construction sector employers with access to a supply of trained and work-ready employees.

The programme is targeted at new and current employees to gain their trade qualifications and to upskill to leadership roles, enabling them to live and work locally.

The apprentice funding, supported by the Government’s commitment to infrastructure spend, will allow Cook Brothers Construction to deliver on social outcomes in the regions in a sustainable and structured manner.

Acrow is New Zealand’s largest scaffolding, formwork, falsework and event infrastructure company and employs over 400 people throughout its nationwide branch network, servicing the industrial, commercial, civil and residential sectors.

Acrow has had on-going difficulty in acquiring apprentices and is looking to reduce its reliance on overseas workers through attracting, employing and training local talent into the sector.

They will support up to 35 apprentices to enter scaffolding apprenticeships, focusing on displaced workers, Māori, Pasifika, and a younger cohort of workers 16-25 years old, across Tauranga, Manawatū-Whanganui and the Waikato regions.

The apprentices will be supported by existing, experienced team members to help them learn and develop their skill sets including a good work ethic.

Acrow will ensure the apprentices have all the equipment they need along with health and safety training and ongoing training such as Site Safe, Heights and Harness, Vehicle licence upgrade to Class 2 and 4, and First Aid.

Brazier Scaffolding are a regional scaffolding company based in Otago and Southland which has been operating since 1973 and has trained a large number of scaffolders. They have built a solid reputation which is partly built on ensuring work is delivered by an experienced and highly trained workforce.

They will take on up to ten apprentices and provide early induction training in first aid and Site Safe qualifications, followed by on-going training by matching apprentices with existing trained staff. They will also provide access to the equipment required to undertake the apprenticeship and pastoral care.

The company is interested in expanding its trained workforce and reducing its dependence on overseas workers by employing and training local people to support them into a career. They have a pool of trained scaffolders to match with the apprentices and also have an in-house trainer who is also a trainer and assessor to the industry.

They will focus on displaced workers, Māori and a younger workers (16 – 25 year-olds) and will provide training in scaffolding skills as well as in literacy, computer skills, rescue work, and manual handling courses.