Aotearoa reaches Apprenticeship Boost milestone

September 19, 2022

Competenz is encouraged by the news that Aotearoa New Zealand has reached a significant milestone, with the Government confirming last week that 50,000 trade apprentices have passed through the Apprenticeship Boost programme.

In 2020, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins announced the $390 million Apprenticeship Boost payment, providing business owners with monthly subsidies for first and second year apprentices. In 2022 the Government extended the programme by an extra $230 million, with the $500 monthly payment now available until December 2023.

The Apprenticeship Boost was created to help keep New Zealanders in both work and training during the COVID-19 pandemic. It focusses on getting kiwis work-ready by providing necessary training to help industries address skills shortages – both present and future.

Competenz General Manager Employer and Learner Services, Toni Christie, says the Apprenticeship Boost has helped to stimulate apprenticeship sign ups across all our 37 industry sectors. “The achievement of 50,000 apprentices nationally through the Apprenticeship Boost programme is a significant milestone.

“There is a current skills gap across many industry sectors in New Zealand, and programmes such as the Apprenticeship Boost certainly work towards encouraging employers to either invest in their existing staff or take on new apprentices.”

The Apprenticeship Boost scheme has come with many positive outcomes – over 113,000 kiwis have exited the benefit system and gained employment over the last 12 months, making use of this ‘earn and learn’ opportunity.

Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says, "Ensuring all New Zealanders have the opportunity to earn and learn is not only good for them, their well-being and whānau, but it's good for our country as a whole."

Over 19 percent of apprentices taking part in the scheme are Māori. Māori unemployment currently sits at 5.5 percent – the lowest rate since records begun. The incentive has created opportunities for our rangatahi (youth) who want to start an apprenticeship, unlocking the potential for kiwis and the economy.

The Apprentice Boost has contributed toward a positive impact in delivering key infrastructure projects in a timely manner, enabling industry to keep moving at a critical time.

To find out how to apply for the Apprenticeship Boost, click here.