Prime Minister John Key has announced an expansion of
Government subsidies for apprenticeships in a major speech on
how to make New Zealand a "magnet for investment".
At present modern apprenticeship subsidies are limited to
Industry Training Organisations with trainees aged between 16
and 21. The subsidy is paid to the ITOs to visit the
From 2014 there will be a single rate of subsidy for
apprentices and there will be no no age restriction.
Subsidies for existing modern apprenticeships will be
protected for four years or until they finish.
As an incentive the Government will give a $1000 gratis
payment to each new apprentice enrolled after April 1 this
year for tools and off-job course costs and $2000 to those in
priority construction industries. The same amount will be
given to their employers.
Mr Key estimated that the changes, along with the boom in
construction and other trades in the rebuild of Christchurch,
would see about 14,000 new apprentices start training over
the next five years, over and above the 7000 that enrol each
"The whole idea is to kickstart new apprenticeship
opportunities ahead of the curve, so that thousands of New
Zealanders get to learn a new trade that will last them a
lifetime," Mr Key told a business audience on Auckland's
North Shore in his first major speech of the year.
Mr Key said that under Labour's "wasteful management" up to
100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training
were in fact "phantom trainees".
Mr Key said Australia had done so well over the last few
years because it had massive investment in its economy.
Investment in Western Australia had seen the lowest
unemployment rate and highest population growth of any
In New Zealand, Taranaki had attracted significant oil and
It had a low unemployment rate and incomes had grown faster
than anywhere else in the country.
"The key factor is investment and not just in oil and gas. So
here in New Zealand we have to be a magnet for investment."
Mr Key attacked Opposition parties accusing them of opposing
most measures the Government proposed to encourage
investment, growth and job.
They opposed tax changes, major roading projects, free trade
with the United States [Labour does not], Resource Management
Act changes, 90-day work trial, work expectations for
beneficiaries, oil and gas exploration, labour market
legislation for The Hobbit film, and a national convention
"There is only one type of activist government they know -
the big spending and big-borrowing kind.
"It's called 'chequebook activism' and New Zealanders know it
well because they have seen it before," Mr Key said.
"As a country we are still paying for it - literally."
Mr Key said the world was full of opportunities for New
Zealand over the next few years and they should be seized.
"That's why the Government is getting on with the job."
- Audrey Young of the New Zealand Herald