BCITO welcomes Government approach to vocational training

The building sector welcomes the Government’s moves to boost student numbers in vocational education, as announced today by Minister Chris Hipkins.

“Our own market research shows that public perceptions of careers in building and construction are slowly improving, but more action is needed to encourage better numbers of school leavers into apprenticeships,” said Warwick Quinn, Chief Executive of the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO.)

“School students, school leavers, parents and caregivers are all showing more positive attitudes to building careers this year compared to the last two, but more needs to be done across education, industry and at home to speed up the pipeline,” said Quinn.

The biggest change in perception has been among Māori and Pasifika communities, whose positive perceptions have improved eight percent and seventeen percent respectively in the past year. Across all groups, school students are six percent more positive, parents/caregivers seven percent more positive, and school leavers are about the same.

“The Government’s new education-to-employment brokerage service, funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers, and a promotional campaign to raise the profile of vocational education are all measures that will help young people and those who influence them see the benefits of a building career.

”BCITO has been working hard to change perceptions, so it is great to have the Government working in partnership with industry and we hope families, educators and employers will join the effort to get more students into trades,” Quinn said.

BCITO ran a successful television campaign called “Tricky Chat,” producing a shift in parental attitudes.

“Education snobbery continues to be a problem. Too many school students and their parents are overlooking this important growth sector. There are multiple career options, including tiling, estimating, painting, roofing and carpentry. Our apprentices are setting themselves up for a bright future. Their jobs can be just as financially rewarding as getting a university degree, you can earn while you learn, and they offer a good work-life balance.


Further enquiries, please contact:

Kiri Shannon

Acumen Republic on behalf of BCITO
T +64 21 0234 4157
E [email protected]

More News

Government support available to businesses impacted by COVID-19

  • 20 March 2020

The Government has announced a $12.1 billion COVID-19 Economic Response Package for small to medium businesses and employees during this period of uncertainly.

COVID-19 response from BCITO

  • 17 March 2020

The health and wellbeing of our industry’s employers, apprentices, and our people are of paramount importance to us.

See all News