The number of building and trade apprenticeships has boomed in recent months, largely due to the Government’s decision to make all NZ apprenticeships free from July last year until December 2022.
According to building and construction training body BCITO, there are now more than 18,000 apprentices in training, a rise of 32 per cent to the end of 2020, and figures are still rising.
More locally, there are currently 1700 BCITO apprentices in its “North Auckland” area, which actually stretches from the Harbour Bridge up to Cape Reinga. That compares with 1585 in 2020 and 1252 in 2019.
“We’ve never been so busy. There are many reasons for that, including the Government’s decision to actively encourage New Zealanders to seek out careers in the trades,” a BCITO spokesperson said.
“We experienced the biggest increase we’ve ever seen in the number of apprentices we look after and the employers we’re working with.
“With borders closed and the influx of skilled construction professionals now at a standstill, eyes have turned to us to help ready the next generation of apprentices for the huge workload that lies ahead.”
The Government funding boost covers all apprenticeships for anyone over 16 – there is no upper age limit.
As well as core building and construction skills, apprenticeships are available in a number of associated trades including plumbing, gas fitting, drain laying, roofing, cranes and scaffolding, security, electricity supply, telecommunications, heating and air conditioning.
For anyone interested in applying for an apprenticeship, the first port of call should be the relevant industry training organisation. There are 11 of these, covering a wide range of careers, from the performing arts and primary industries to sports and seafood processing. Would-be apprentices then have to find an employer willing to take them on and support them through an apprenticeship.
Info: Apprenticeships: www.careers.govt.nz/courses/find-out-about-study-and-training-options/apprenticeships/ Training organisations and career options: www.tec.govt.nz/teo/working-with-teos/itos/directory/