Canterbury trades training boost – Budget 2011

( Budget 2011 will provide up to $42 million for trades training for the Canterbury region, Tertiary education Minister Steven Joyce says.

Funding is being set aside for up to 1500 additional training places as part of a comprehensive cross-agency response to meet additional demand for labour for the reconstruction programme called “Skills for Canterbury”.

The Skills for Canterbury package includes:

• Up to 3000 more construction-related training places in Polytechnics in Canterbury and around the country (from existing funding)
• $42 million for additional funded places at polytechs, private providers and ITOs if required
• Accelerated training programmes at CPIT and other polytechnics to complete training more quickly and to allow transition to work during training
• Additional skills brokers at relevant ITOs to work with employers and MSD to place people in training
• $1.5 million from Work and Income to subsidise 650 people into training and work by the end of June
• An extra $5 million in Budget 2011 for MSD to purchase further Industry Partnership placements to help unemployed people take up job opportunities from the rebuild
• Additional support for Maori Trainees, with TPK appointing a dedicated agent to work with ITOs and employers to support at least 200 Maori into the construction sector
• A special immigration skill shortage list from the Department of Labour to allow employers to import high-skilled workers that can’t be trained in time
• Considering contractors’ commitment to training and trainees as a factor when assessing future government reconstruction contracts.

Mr Joyce says the government expects the peak of the building demand to come within two to four years, so training the right people at the right time will help us in our response.

“The construction trades are going to be very important over the next several years. It is important that people who are interested in learning a trade, brushing up their skills, returning to complete trades qualifications, or taking up supervisory roles, look at the options that are available.

“Polytechnics and ITOs have places available now and I would encourage people who are interested in being involved with the rebuild of Christchurch to make contact with their local provider.

“The government is committed to ensuring that people in Canterbury have the chance to build their skills, so they can contribute to the rebuild of their city. This extra funding will ensure they have that opportunity,” says Mr Joyce.

Media Release on 12 May 2011 from Steven Joyce, Tertiary Education Minister