18 May 2023

Thumbs Up for Apprenticeship Boost Extension

A $77 million extension to the Apprenticeship Boost scheme is welcome news for the automotive industry, the Motor Trade Association says.

Apprenticeship Boost supports employers taking on apprentices by paying $500 a month for the first two years.

“Young people are the future of our industry,” says MTA Advocacy and Stakeholder Manager Brian Anderton.

“Apprenticeship Boost make it easier for a business to take on an apprentice by shouldering some of the expense, until that apprentice is up to speed.

“Our members tell us that, especially in a tough year like this one, Apprenticeship Boost can be the difference between taking an apprentice on or not.”

MTA has long championed the scheme. According to MITO, new automotive apprentices grew from 1425 to 1862 (an increase of 31 percent) between 2019 and 2021. As of March 2023, 57,040 apprentices have been supported through the initiative, Government says.

The scheme was scheduled to end this year, but an extension to the end of 2024 was part of today’s Budget.

“As recently as last week, in our election year publication Driving New Zealand Forward, we called on the Government to extend Apprenticeship Boost,” Brian says.

“While we appreciate the extension until next year, we actually think it should be made permanent.”

MTA says the news will be welcomed by employers too.

“We know that the labour shortage is the number one issue keeping our members awake at night,” Brian says.

“They simply can’t find enough people for the roles available.

“Our members want to hire New Zealanders where they can. They want to encourage young people to join the industry and see the great opportunities that exist.

“There’s a lot more to be done, but today’s announcement helps.”

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