Apprenticeship boost extended

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Story by Ministry of Education 

The Apprenticeship Boost Initiative (ABI) has been extended to the end of December 2023.

Apprenticeship Boost supports firms to keep early-stage apprentices and to hire new apprentices.  Apprenticeship training helps to meet the strong demand for skilled tradespeople across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Over 43,000 apprentices have been supported by Apprenticeship Boost since it began in August 2020 as a COVID-19 Response and Recovery initiative. This extension provides for around another 24,000 apprentices to start getting Apprenticeship Boost support and some 14,000 to keep being supported beyond 4 August 2022, when the initiative was meant to conclude.

Over 17,000 employers are registered for Apprenticeship Boost, and over $346.5 million has been paid so far to support employers, their apprentices, and the New Zealand economy. Apprenticeship numbers have risen considerably since the introduction of Apprenticeship Boost. As at the end of February 2022, there were over 56,000 apprentices funded by the Tertiary Education Commission, compared to 37,000 at the same time in 2020: an increase of 55% in two years.

The Apprenticeship Boost extension means that new employers can also join the initiative. Both they and existing participants will be supported, for longer, to take on more apprentices. In recognition of the significant growth in apprentices since 2020, and to extend the initiative at reasonable cost, the first-year subsidy rate will lower to $500 per month from 5 August 2022. The second-year subsidy rate will, however, remain at $500 per month until the initiative ends in December 2023.

To be eligible for Apprenticeship Boost, apprentices must be part of a TEC-approved New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship programme and have done less than 24 months of their training.

Further investment is also being made in the Māori Trades Training Fund and for Mana In Mahi. These programmes are administered by Work and Income.

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