$40m for regional apprenticeships

Published: Jun 25, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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A $40 million Regional Apprentices Initiative has been launched to support up to 1000 new regional apprenticeships.

The funding is repurposed from the PGF under the reset and is part of a wider apprenticeship programme.

The funding will provide an immediate boost for businesses in the regions wanting to take on new apprentices. It will also help ensure the pipeline of skilled workers the regional economies will need in the future.

It is designed to help apprentices to stay connected to work, training and to their communities.

The initial focus of the scheme will be on helping workers displaced by the effects of COVID-19 as well as Māori and Pacific peoples, but once that initial need has been met the fund will be open to all regional apprentices and employers.

It is hoped the funding will be largely paid out in the first six months, and will provide a much-needed economic stimulus to businesses and security of employment for apprentices during a critical recovery time for the regions.

The initiative allows for up to $40,000 of support per apprentice. This includes a wage subsidy of up to $16,000 for the first year of training and up to $8000 for the second year. It also includes additional funding to help with other business support and pastoral care so the employer and apprentice can successfully maintain the apprenticeship.

Employers must top up their funding to ensure apprentices are paid at least the relevant minimum wage or the training wage and not be accessing a wage subsidy or other similar apprenticeship support from any other source.

For information on eligibility and how to submit an expression of interest for the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative: 

Skills and training 

Read about the wider government apprenticeships programme, and the ministerial announcement:

Apprenticeship Support Programme — Work and Income 

$40m for regional apprenticeships — Beehive.govt.nz