Minister welcomes record high building and construction apprenticeships

Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa has welcomed the record high of 13,000 building and construction apprentices in active training with main provider the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).

“We are committed to reversing the long-term decline in trades training and it’s excellent to see more people earning and learning in building and construction where we’ve had a persistent skills shortage,” Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa said.

“New Zealand needs more tradies. That’s why we’ve:

  • made the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years
  • committed to a new centre of excellence for vocational education for the construction sector to drive innovation
  • supported the future of the industry through our landmark Construction Sector Accord and the Construction Skills Action Plan
  • created the $2000 Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Awards for the top vocational student in every secondary school in the country

Minister Salesa is in Eastbourne, Wellington today presenting the BCITO’s 13,000th apprentice, Tioirangi Smith of SLC Builders Ltd, with a certificate.

“I want to congratulate Tioirangi. He has made a fantastic choice to take up a trade in the face of a huge pipeline of upcoming work.

“With residential building consents at their highest level since 1974, at 36,446, and the Government’s plan of record infrastructure investment including building classrooms for more than 100,000 kids, more state houses than any Government since the 1970s and more road and rail than the previous government, we need more apprentices like Tioirangi.

“Construction activity is expected to hit $43.5 billion before 2024, with 80,000 new and replacement construction jobs needing filling over the next five years. The sector currently employs 240,000 New Zealanders.

“An apprentice scheme can only succeed with the backing of employers, industry bodies, government, and the apprentices themselves and their families.

“We are doing all we can to get more people into the trades, to plug the skills gap we have. This 13,000th apprentice is a great sign our work is paying off,” Jenny Salesa said.