The Government's Apprenticeship Boost initiative has now supported 20,000 employers to help keep on and train up apprentices, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced in Christchurch today.
Almost 62,000 apprentices have been supported to start and keep training for a trade since the initiative was introduced in August 2020.
"Our priority has been to invest in our people and their futures by providing them with opportunities for meaningful employment," Carmel Sepuloni said.
"Supporting these 20,000 employers has delivered a win-win for Kiwis looking for work and businesses in need of workers.
"We purposefully set out to increase the number of apprentices, support businesses, fill skill shortages and retrain those who lost work as a result of COVID-19.
"The fact we've kept unemployment low, and economic activity is growing, shows that our plan to invest in people is working.
"Following the global financial crisis, the previous National Government let apprenticeship numbers plummet, as they did nothing to support businesses to continue to put resource into training when finances were tight. We've continued to take action to support and incentivise training through tough economic times.
"Programmes like Apprenticeship Boost, Mana in Mahi, He Poutama Rangatahi and Mori Trades and Training have all been pivotal in keeping people in jobs and supporting employers to invest in jobseekers," Carmel Sepuloni said.
Education Minister Jan Tinetti said Apprenticeship Boost was helping to meet the strong demand for skills in Aotearoa New Zealand right now and supporting employers to train the next generation of tradespeople.
"It's particularly important that we have skilled people for the in-demand jobs right now, that are supporting the rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and other weather events this year," Jan Tinetti said.
"Apprenticeship Boost is helping us to deliver key infrastructure projects, increase our housing stock and supply, and build the workforce needed to take us forward.
"We're also seeing more women take up apprenticeships, notably in building and architecture which has traditionally been male dominated. Those sectors now have 850 more women apprentices, an increase of 207% since 2020 when Apprenticeship Boost started.
"I'm incredibly proud of the progress we've made in education, employment and training due to the success of programmes like Apprenticeship Boost," Jan Tinetti said.