News | $28 Million in Apprenticeship Re-boot, Starting Now

08/03/2013

The Government has committed to a major increase in funding for apprenticeships that will mean lower fees for employers, encourage growth in the uptake of apprentices overall and allow ITOs to invest more in the quality of education for apprentices. Of most current interest to employers is the Apprenticeship Re-boot, which was to be effective on 1st April 2013, but actually started this week, on the 6th March.

The Apprenticeship Re-boot

  • On 6 March 2013, the Government launched an "Apprenticeship Re-boot" programme, to increase the profile and understanding of apprenticeships and opportunities for careers in trades.
  • The Re-boot programme provides financial incentives for employers and workers to take up more apprentices. This includes a 'sign-up incentive', where the Government will provide the first 10,000 new apprentices who enrol on and after 6 March 2013, with $1,000 towards the cost of tools/materials and off-job course costs, and $2,000 in the case of 'priority construction trades', which potentially could change over time depending on skills requirements. Note: Re-boot is available for ‘new sign-ups’ only from the implementation date onwards. New sign-ups do not include apprenticeship ‘re-signs’.
  • Employers will receive the same subsidy amounts as apprentices. Re-boot funding is intended to be used for tools and off-job course costs. Funding for employers and apprentices will be facilitated by the relevant ITO.
  • The Re-boot is estimated to cost $28 million and will be funded from money set aside in Budget 2012 to transition the industry training system. (This funding originally came from underspends in the industry training baseline.) By Re-booting apprenticeships, the Government estimates there will be an additional 14,000 new apprentices starting training over the next five years - over and above the 7,000 who enrol every year.
  • In addition, a large number of apprenticeship-qualified people will be needed in coming years to meet the anticipated labour force needs for the Christchurch rebuild, on-going infrastructure development, and upgrading and increasing the housing stock.
    “There is a big opportunity over the next few years - particularly with the rebuilding of Christchurch - to train more New Zealanders in vocational careers that will set them up well for their working lives. This subsidy is part of our New Zealand Apprenticeship reforms which are creating a simpler, more effective, vocational training system in New Zealand,” said Tertiary Education Minister Joyce, announcing the Re-boot.

Key Points about the Apprenticeship Re-boot:

“The Re-boot subsidy will be payable to new Modern Apprentices at Level 3 and Level 4 in 2013 only, and all industry trainees enrolled in a programme of study at Level 4 of 120 credits or more in 2013 and beyond”, regardless of age and provided they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Apprentices/Trainees must undertake active training for 90 days following the commencement of their new training agreement before they can apply for the subsidy, so the earliest an application can be made will be 4 June 2013. A completed and signed copy of the original application can be posted or emailed to the relevant ITO. Once eligibility is confirmed, it is expected that payment should be received from the ITO within a month.

The reason behind apprentices/trainees having to be in a training agreement for 90 days before becoming eligible for the Re-boot is to demonstrate that they, and their employer, are committed to the completion of the industry training agreement.

More information about the application process will be available from ServiceIQ and on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) website in the next few weeks. An application form will be available in May 2013.

Employers will receive the same subsidy amounts as apprentices. Re-boot funding is intended to be used for tools and off-job course costs. Funding for employers and apprentices will be facilitated by the relevant ITO.

Funding for employers and apprentices will be facilitated by ITOs - the TEC will not require proof of expenditure from apprentices. However, it is expected that apprentices and employers will sign a declaration that will allow for the recovery of funding if it is not used for intended purposes, or the employer or apprentice has already received other government financial assistance. Apprentices will be required to sign a contract that allows for the recovery of money not used for tools or off job costs.

Summary of Specific Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for the Re-boot subsidy apprentices/trainees will:

  1. have signed a new industry training agreement commencing on or after 6 March 2013; and
  2. have been actively training for at least 90 days; and
  3. be either:
    a) an apprentice/trainee enrolled in a programme of study of at least 120 credits at Level 4 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF); or
    b) a Modern Apprentice enrolled in a programme of study at Levels 3 or 4 on the NZQF (for 2013 only); and
  4. not be in employment subsidised by a Ministry of Social Development (MSD) wage subsidy or other government funding; and
  5. have not already received, or have applied for, other government funding for tools and equipment.

To be eligible for an equal payment an employer will:

  1. be employing an apprentice/trainee that is eligible for the Re-boot subsidy; and
  2. not be receiving a MSD wage subsidy, or other government funding, for the eligible apprentice/trainee.

Note: From 1 January 2014 the eligibility criteria for the Re-Boot subsidy may change to align with the New Zealand Apprenticeship scheme.

Note: Only employers and apprentices will receive Re-boot funding. The current MAC subsidy (the Modern Apprenticeship Brokerage Fee) will be paid through 2013. MA brokerage will continue to be “grand-parented” for up to four years after the start date of the MA’s original enrolment.

All ServiceIQ apprenticeships are eligible for the standard Re-boot subsidy, although none are included in the list of eligible trades for the ‘higher’ Re-boot subsidy.

For more information, please contact ServiceIQ’s Apprenticeship Manager:

Dave Marr
P: 04 802 7889
M: 027 230 0506
E: dave.marr@ServiceIQ.org.nz

Early access to Apprenticeships Re-boot

New apprentices will be able to access the Government’s re-boot subsidy towards tools and off-job costs and start training sooner, following an announcement today by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce.

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