Extension of Apprenticeship Boost scheme

May 22, 2023

Industry training provider Competenz Te Pūkenga (Te Pūkenga) welcomes the Government's 2023 budget announcement and the extension of the successful Apprenticeship Boost scheme.

The $77 million top-up of the Apprenticeship Boost scheme helps employers support apprentices by contributing $500 every month for the first two years, equating to $12,000.

Competenz Te Pūkenga General Manager Employer and Learner Experience, Toni Christie says the extension is vital for building a skilled workforce and driving economic growth.

“Times are tough for businesses in the current economic climate, and they are feeling the pinch. Extending this support will allow many businesses to continue to invest in the coaching and mentoring of young apprentices into qualified tradespeople.

“It is critical we maintain a pipeline of skilled people to overcome the skills shortages we are enduring, and the extra funding will contribute to closing the gap.”

Across the 37 sectors Te Pūkenga represents, including engineering, manufacturing, food processing and forestry, employers can access the subsidy for nearly 3,000 apprentices.

She says since the scheme launched in 2020, Te Pūkenga has seen an increase in the number of apprentices signing up to work-based learning.

“More than 57,000 apprentices have been supported through the initiative so far. There will be a swathe of school leavers entering the job market at the end of this year and they have just been given a real boost. An apprentice wage subsidy enables more ākonga to undertake work-based training, get paid and gain nationally-recognised qualifications, providing tangible opportunities that may not have been available otherwise,” said Christie.

Christie says by extending the scheme until the end of 2024, the government is safeguarding existing apprenticeships and creating new opportunities for individuals to embark on rewarding career pathways.

“Without continued investment into apprentices, it will have significant long-term impacts for sectors, widening skills gaps within businesses and resulting in fewer apprenticeship opportunities for New Zealanders.”

“We would go a step further and fully support the Apprenticeship Boost initiative becoming a permanent scheme as it supports businesses to provide opportunities for New Zealanders to earn while they learn, and we know it aids in closing skills shortages.”

Te Pūkenga urges employers who wish to access this apprentice wage subsidy to call 0800 526 1800 or email info@competenz.org.nz.