Industry Training & Apprenticeships Amendment Bill passes third readingTertiary Education, Skills and Employment
Legislation that completes the Government’s comprehensive reforms to industry training today passed its third and final reading in Parliament.
“The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill is a crucial part of the Government’s comprehensive reforms to industry training, which will achieve better performance for employers, for trainees and apprentices, and also for taxpayers,” Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.
“There is a huge opportunity over the next few years to train more New Zealanders in vocational careers that will set them up well for their working lives. To make the most of this opportunity, New Zealand must have a responsive, high quality industry training system.”
A review of industry training in 2011 highlighted a number of issues hindering the performance of industry training. In response, we have implemented several changes to boost performance and participation, and to simplify the industry training system. The bill gives effect to those findings of the review that require legislative changes.
The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill:
- establishes New Zealand Apprenticeships - a comprehensive apprenticeship system that provides the same level of support to all apprentices, regardless of age
- focuses Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) on setting skill standards for their industries and arranging training
- strengthens the quality assurance framework for ITOs.
These changes complement the Government’s improvements to industry training that are already in place. These include boosting the educational content of apprenticeships, increasing funding rates for industry training and apprenticeships, and setting clear performance expectations for ITOs.
The Apprenticeship Reboot is getting more New Zealanders into in-work training, and into priority trades. The first 14,000 new apprentices enrolled since March 2013 are eligible for a grant of $1,000 towards their tools and off-job costs, or $2,000 if they are in priority trades, with the same amount paid to their employer. Since the reboot started, more than 11,000 apprentices have signed up.
“As a result of the passage of the bill, we will have a much stronger industry training system. The profile and quality of apprenticeships will be improved, quality assurance of ITOs will be in line with that of other tertiary education organisations, and there will be greater links between industry, the industry training sector, and Government,” Mr Joyce says.