NZCB In The News – Radio NZ 13th November

NZCB In The News – Radio NZ 13th November

Business News with RNZ reporter John Gerritsen

NZCB chief executive Malcolm Fleming talks to RNZ Morning Report.

Radio script

For each new trainee and later 500 a month. The funding saw apprentice numbers jump from 53.5 thousand inches 2019 to more than 80,000 last year. But the proportion not getting their qualification credits has leapt from a quarter to a third. And in some fields it’s much higher. Last year, almost no electronic engineering apprentices completed any credits and in one of the biggest fields, architecture and building. Half were in active last year, up from 28% before the subsidy was introduced. Malcolm Fleming from Certified Builders says members are telling him some firms just want the subsidy. 

There are likely to be businesses who are rolling employees such as labourers as apprentices to obtain the apprentice boost contribution and they’re not encouraging those apprentices to work their way through the qualification. So that’s a practise that trade associations like ourselves frown upon, and I don’t hear of a lot of it occurring, but I can quite imagine that it does occur, he says.

Another possible factor is poor support for trainees. 

The second one would be businesses that are just not good at supporting apprentices due to them being poor trainers or the employer just not being well organised. The result is that the apprentice gets discouraged. They flounder. 

Graham Moore from the Roofing Association says the scheme should ensure employers are ready to train their apprentices. 

Part of the problem is, and we see this when they came up with free fees and apprenticeship boosts and all that sort of thing. There should have been some work done around qualifying the employer so that it wasn’t a I’ll get in and get a subsidised bit of labour approach to it. 

Philip Aldridge is from the Workforce Development Council for the Construction sector. He says another possible reason for the increase in inactive trainees is that there are more first year apprentices who don’t have to do many credits until they’re further into their qualification. 

So it’s sort of a way to quoll is structured. 

That means there’s less likely to be lots of credits in the first 12 months while the attainment happens On a credit scoring point of view, it’s actually probably the last six months of a four year apprenticeship. So yes, they are meant to get some credits, but they don’t get that many and we’re looking to change that. 

The Ministry of Social Development administers the scheme. It says since the programme started three years ago, almost 300 employers have repaid about half $1 million in subsidies for just under 400 apprentices. The money includes payments for people who had left or put their training on hold. 

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