Budget 2023 courtesy of the New Zealand Government has seen a $77 million extension be made to the Apprenticeship Boost scheme which is being welcomed by the automotive industry.
The Motor Trade Association (MTA), the country’s main automotive industry body, says the extension to the end of 2024 will support more employers like mechanics that take on apprentices.
Apprenticeship Boost pays employers that hire apprentices by contributing $500 a month to their business for the first two years, equating to $12,000 all up.
MTA has long been an advocate of the scheme, recognising that it has increased the number of apprentices joining the automotive trade.
Data from MITO states that new automotive apprentices grew from 1425 to 1862 individuals between 2019 and 2021. MTA also cites that 57,040 apprentices have been supported by the initiative as of March 2023.
“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.”
The MTA states that while its appreciative of the Government’s extension, it would like to see the scheme be made permanent as advocated for in it’s recent Driving New Zealand Forward publication.
It also thinks the Apprenticeship Boost extension will be welcome news to employers who are struggling to find workers.
“We know that the labour shortage is the number one issue keeping our members awake at night,” Anderton says.
“They simply can’t find enough people for the roles available.
“There’s a lot more to be done, but today’s announcement helps.”