The BCITO today announced that it has 20,000 apprentices in training – an all-time record. To mark this milestone, Education Minister Hon Chris Hipkins and BCITO Chief Executive Toby Beaglehole visited a Holmes Construction housing project in Wellington, where they met with apprentices undergoing training. The occasion also saw BCITO Chair Mike King and Te Pūkenga Council Member John Brockies sign an agreement for the transfer of arranging training from BCITO to Te Pūkenga.
Speaking onsite, Beaglehole said that BCITO has signed up over 6,500 apprentices in 2021 alone.
“We are immensely proud to have reached this milestone. If the number of apprenticeship sign-ups continues at the current rate, we could have enough to meet the demand for qualified construction workers in New Zealand in the longer term. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the Government’s investment in free trades training, and support for employers with the Apprenticeship Boost.”
The Apprenticeship Boost provides up to $1000 a month for first-year apprentices and $500 a month for second-year apprentices. Since it was rolled out in August 2020, over 10,000 employers have signed up and received almost $97 million in subsidies for over 21,000 apprentices throughout New Zealand.
Beaglehole continued “We thank organisations like Holmes Construction for taking on apprentices and their commitment to helping build New Zealand’s construction workforce. 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.”
Ben Holmes, MD of Holmes Construction, said that they have always valued bringing through the next generation of builders.
“We expose our apprentices to a wide variety of residential and commercial work. This means that once they are qualified, they come out with a well-rounded skill set. The only hard part is keeping them!”
Acting Chief Executive of Te Pūkenga Work-Based Learning Limited (WBL) Fiona Kingsford said, “We look forward to welcoming BCITO to our Te Pūkenga whānau. BCITO brings a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience to Te Pūkenga as we take another step in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a new vocational learning system for New Zealand. A system that is simple to navigate, responds to the needs of a diverse range of learners and employers, and flexible enough to change as the future develops.”
Te Pūkenga was established by the Government to unite Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) around the country into a national network. When an ITO transitions functions to Te Pūkenga, it will become a separately branded business division within the WBL subsidiary of Te Pūkenga. Following transition, BCITO will be referred to as the BCITO Business Division within WBL.
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New Zealand Master Joiners Otago Chapter, BCITO and the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association have been holding a graduation ceremony for Joinery and Kitchen Design apprentices for ten years.