N E W S
REN288 Businesses to take on fewer
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apprentices under proposed
More than half of employers say they
will hire fewer apprentices if a Government
proposal to merge polytechs into
one national body is implemented - according
to new research.
A survey of more than 920 employers
from around New Zealand conducted
over the past month by the country’s
largest Industry Training Organisation
(ITO), found that employer confidence
in the proposed structure was so low
that more than half (55%) said they will
either stop hiring apprentices or take
on less apprentices.
Garry Fissenden ceo of The Skills Organisation,
which represents 22 industries,
4,400 employers and over
10,000 apprentices, says it is clear the
Government has underestimated the
impact the changes would have on the
productivity of trade businesses - and
the resulting employment prospects
for thousands of Kiwi youth.
“The results of our research suggest
that serious repercussions from the
proposed Vocational Education sector
restructure are already being felt
throughout the country.
“Seven out of ten (69%) employers
said the changes will bring uncertainty
on how the training process will work.
The majority of the employers feel the
proposed changes will significantly
impact on their ability to take on apprentices,
“Clearly the outcome of rushing
through a change to industry training
would be to widen the desperate
shortage of trained and skilled tradespeople,”
Mr Fissenden says two thirds (66%) of
employers surveyed felt the proposed
changes would be out of touch with
their needs and signal a shift towards
more theory based training.
A further 61% said it would become
more difficult to train apprentices with
almost two thirds (65%) saying the restructure
would discourage employers
from taking on trainees at this level.
“The reality is that most employers
do not believe polytechs will be able
to provide trainees with the practical
skills they need to be immediately productive,”
Almost half (45%) of the respondents
also felt it would discourage young
people to embark on a trade career.
“The results of the survey are a damning
indictment of an accelerated programme
of change which is being
pushed through by the Government.
“The vast majority of businesses are
SME’s who can only afford to take on
the risk of hiring apprentices if they are
“The burden of these changes would
be felt by New Zealand businesses for
generations to come,
“Finding a better model of industry
training, will require a better consultation
between employers, apprentices
and Government. The current proposals
need a rethink,” he says.
A Government-owned investment
fund was offered the chance to
invest in Rocket Lab when the
space launch company was worth
only $30 million. The valuation
at which Rocket Lab last raised
money at a capital raising in
November had since risen to more
than $2 billion.