A New Record: 20,000 Building and Construction Apprentices In Training.
More skilled workers in training than ever
The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) is responsible for building and construction sector apprentices. BCITO has recently announced that they have a record 20,000 apprentices training in the sector – with over 6,500 apprentices signing up in 2021 so far.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins and BCITO chief executive Toby Beaglehole visited a Holmes Construction housing project in Wellington in order to meet the apprentices training there.
"We are immensely proud to have reached this milestone,” Beaglehole announced during the visit. Beaglehole also went on to thank organizations like Holmes Construction for providing training to apprentices and the impact they will have on building up New Zealand’s construction workforce.
The managing director of Holmes Construction, Ben Holmes, stated that they have always valued helping to develop the next generation of building and construction professionals.
The BCITO chief executive calculates that if the sign-up rate continues as it has recently then New Zealand could see the demand for qualified construction workers met sooner than expected.
The visit was also attended by BCITO chair Mike King and Te Pūkenga council member John Brockies to sign the agreement for the transfer of arranging training from BCITO to Te Pūkenga.
The Apprenticeship Boost is Helping
The announcement also praised the governments support for employers with the successful Apprenticeship Boost scheme, and the Government's investment in free trades training.
"As we transition into Te Pūkenga, we expect opportunities for apprentices to continue to broaden as on-job and off-job learning come closer together to offer more flexible vocational learning."
The scheme, known as the Apprenticeship Boost, was rolled out in August 2020 and has seen more than 10,000 employees sign up and receive nearly $97 million for mor then 21,000 apprentices all over the country. The Apprentice Boost allows for up to $1000 a month for first-year apprentices and $500 a month for second-year apprentices.
The Government established Te Pūkenga to unite Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and Industry Training Organizations (ITOs) around the country into a national network. The process of an ITO transitioning functions to Te Pūkenga is fairly simple. While it will become a branded business division separately within the WBL subsidiary of Te Pūkenga. Following transition, BCITO will be referred to as the BCITO Business Division within WBL
Acting chief executive of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited (WBL) Fiona Kingsford praised BCTIO for their wealth of skills, knowledge and experience that they will be bringing to Te Pūkenga and called the partnership a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a vocational learning system.”
By ensuring that the system is simple to navigate, that it can respond to the needs of a diverse range of end users, and is flexible enough to adapt to the future of vocational training, the partnership will ensure a skilled workforce for the long term.