More apprentices, better results from Industry Training

  • Steven Joyce
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

The Government is planning changes to the industry training system to boost the number of apprentices in training and increase the support for apprenticeship training, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

“High quality workplace-based training that produces measurably more skilled and qualified workers is a critical part of building a faster-growing more competitive economy," Mr Joyce says.

“These changes will help ensure our industry training system delivers some of the best results in the world.”

The increased support for apprentices is part of a suite of changes planned for the industry training system as a result of a comprehensive industry training policy review conducted by the Ministry of Education.

The changes aim to improve the performance of the Government’s existing investment in industry training by:

  • extending the modern apprenticeship support scheme to all apprentices, regardless of age
  • clarifying the roles of industry training organisations (ITOs)
  • increasing the performance expected from ITOs
  • enabling learners to transition easily between workplace based and non-workplace based training
  • ensuring a sustainable funding regime is in place for results-focused industry training. 

The Government expects the changes to drive a higher level of qualification completions in industry training so workers are equipped with transferable skills that they can use throughout their working lives.

“We have already made progress improving the performance of the taxpayers’ investment in industry training from that which we inherited,” Mr Joyce says. 

“These changes will cement in the gains and take us to another level. 

“The revised system will ensure industry training organisations work well alongside tertiary providers, and help deliver a comprehensive results-focused vocational education and training system for employees. We need every stakeholder to work together to lift the skill level of the New Zealand workforce.”

The industry training changes will be a significant contributor to the Government’s Better Public Services education target announced last month of 55 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds gaining a level 4 or above qualification.

“The proposed changes to industry training will increase performance expectations for qualification completions. We want to make sure that young people are achieving qualifications, and being given every opportunity to progress to higher levels of education and improve their earning potential,” Mr Joyce says.

The Ministry of Education will consult on the proposed changes over the next six weeks.