Let's make the Boost permanent

Wednesday 28th of April 2021
Apprenticeship Boost apprentice plumbing gasfitting drainlaying apprenticeships

Master Plumbers and Masterlink are joining the call for the Government to make the Apprenticeship Boost scheme permanent.

The scheme, which provides financial support to employers of apprentices during the first two years of an apprenticeship, is currently scheduled to end in August 2022.

“We believe the Apprenticeship Boost could make a permanent difference to the number of trainees in the system, and we support the initiative 100 per cent,” says Master Plumbers and Masterlink CEO Greg Wallace.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins recently announced a 17 per cent increase in people starting apprenticeships. This shows the significant impact that the Apprenticeship Boost is having in assisting employers to train New Zealand’s future skilled workforce.

“This is the best thing the government can do to address the skills shortage.”

Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ Inc. (Master Plumbers) is New Zealand’s leading membership and advocacy organisation for the plumbing industry.

They own Masterlink – the country’s only national apprenticeship group training programme specialising in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying trades.

General Manager, Steve Strawbridge confirms that Masterlink has not only seen an increase in businesses taking on apprentices, but is continuing to see increased numbers of female, Maori, Pasifika and more mature New Zealanders, including career switchers, applying to become apprentices.

“Government funding is definitely supporting employers to retain their existing apprentices and take on new ones – and free trades training (TTAF) is encouraging a more diverse range of applicants to consider a career in our trades,” says Strawbridge.

“We have more female apprentices in training than ever before. Our youngest apprentice is 16 years old, our oldest is in their forties and the average age of an apprentice is rising. More school leavers are also considering a career in the trades. Our applicants reflect the ethnic diversity of our population. We believe that making the funding permanent would be the best outcome for our industry and for our country.”

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