Trades training gets $1.6 billion boost in Budget

A number of businesses were now in the process of applying for clearance from the Overseas...
The funding was to help people of all ages get trade training if they lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Photo: File
Trade training gets a $1.6 billion Budget boost aimed at trainees and their employers.

The four-year funding package includes hundreds of millions of dollars for tertiary enrolments, companies that employ apprentices, and free trade training.

It also provides $276 million to set up the workforce councils and regional skills groups created by the government's decision to give the new national polytechnic responsibility for industry training.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the funding would help people of all ages get trade training if they lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

The government would spend $334 million on additional tertiary education enrolments, $320 million on free trade training for critical industries, and $412 million to help employers retain their apprentices.

The package also included $32 million over four years to all secondary school trades academies to enrol 1000 more students per year, and $50 million for a Māori Apprentices Fund.

There was $19.3 million over four years to help recently unemployed people retrain and find jobs in the primary industries.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said the primary sector needed about 50,000 more workers and the funding would help place at least 10,000 people in jobs in the intermediate term.

All three education sectors - schools, early childhood, and tertiary - are to receive a 1.6 percent increase to their operational grants and subsidies.

School spending in the Budget includes funding to keep up with roll growth and to cover previous commitments such as increased construction and maintenance of school buildings.

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