BCITO welcomes government apprenticeship incentives

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This is on the back of increasing numbers of apprentices in Auckland and Christchurch. 
Prime Minister John Key announced the Government would invest up to $40 million in incentives for the first 10,000 apprentices, and their employers, who sign up after April 1, 2013.
BCITO chief executive Ruma Karaitiana says this will help get more people into trades sooner.
“The construction industry needs as many people as it can get right now. Building work in Christchurch and Auckland is really kicking off, and we expect this demand will stay for quite some time,” Mr Karaitiana says.

The BCITO has been inundated with requests from employers in Auckland so far this year, seeing a 70% increase in employers looking for apprentices compared with the last quarter.

Desperate need for skilled apprentices
“Employers around Auckland are calling to say they are snowed under with work and in desperate need of skilled apprentices, so the new scheme is an important step in the right direction for our industry. This will be a great help.”

New BCITO apprentices will be given a chance to take advantage of Government subsidies. The subsidy is $2000 for priority construction trades (carpentry, plumbing, painting and decorating, brick and blocklaying, engineering, electrotechnology). Their employers will receive the same amount.
“We’re encouraging Auckland job seekers in particular to register their interest at
www.bcito.org.nz/lookingforwork. From there we may be able to match them up with employers looking for apprentices, depending on what employers are looking for,” Mr Karaitiana says.

The Wellington Institute of Technology also welcomes the recent announcement.
“It will encourage more people to continue their studies and gain a higher level qualification,” Wellington Institute of Technology chief executive Linda Sissons says.
“It has been widely recognised that the construction industry required a kick-start to get the rebuild of Christchurch under way and re-invigorate apprenticeship training across the country,” Ms Sissons says.

“We trained around 1300 people last year in the priority trades. These graduates have a solid pre-trade tertiary level qualification, and are ready to fit into a workplace and an apprenticeship, and make a contribution from day one.
“We are currently taking enrolments for our trades programmes, and demand is again strong. We are investing in a great new site for carpentry training, and we have committed to increasing (or put significant resources into) the number of people studying engineering to meet a labour market shortage.

“I would urge young men and women to think about trades training as a good career option.
“There are many opportunities for advancement in the construction industry and, as the PM has said, the need for a higher skilled labour force which can contribute to innovation and productivity is essential for a strong economy.”

Meanwhile, career seekers interested in an apprenticeship can register their interest at
www.bcito.org.nz/lookingforwork, or get in contact on Facebook.
Employers in the construction industry looking for apprentices can call the BCITO on 0800 442 486.

• Further apprentice training story, page 26