Skills Active eager to play a role in getting New Zealand back into working and training

May 15, 2020

Skills Active Aotearoa applauds the measures taken in the 2020 budget to channel much-needed economic stimulus through the vehicle of the vocational training system.

“We welcome the announcement yesterday of $1.6 billion in schemes to support vocational trainees and other tertiary learners,” says Skills Active managing director Butch Bradley. 

“We are keen to hear more detail on how these schemes will be applied, to meet needs across the entire New Zealand economy, including in sport, recreation and performing arts,” Mr Bradley says.

The budget includes $334 million for new enrolments, and up to $412 million for employers of apprentices, to help them keep those apprentices on.

There will be $141 million in increased tuition and training subsidies, and $50 million for Māori trades training. With its network of strong relationships in te ao Māori, and involvement with the ITO Māori collective Te Rautaki Whakarōpu Māori, Skills Active is well-positioned to provide support to Māori workplaces and trainees through this fund.

Of particular note for Skills Active is $230 million for the Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), and plans to fast-track the establishment of these organisations. Skills Active spearheaded the consultation process that led to the inception of the Creative, Cultural and Recreation WDC. It is now working through the transition of its skills leadership functions to this new organisation.

“The government has pledged to get New Zealand working again and this message is exactly what our industries needed to hear,” Mr Bradley says.

“While they have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, their services are vital for us to return to a thriving, healthy economy.

Our Workforce Scan research has shown steadily increasing demand for qualified sport, recreation and performing arts professionals, over consecutive years, to support the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

“During the lockdown, we have enrolled many new apprentices who are looking forward to long and rewarding careers in our industries. So we are thrilled to see the support for them, and all our apprentices, through this budget,” he says.

“With the government’s strong focus on vocational training, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to place qualified professionals, trained in industry-led skills, at the heart of our economic recovery. Skills Active looks forward to supporting the sport, recreation and performing arts workforce to strive for this goal,” Mr Bradley says.

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Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren

esther@skillsactive.org.nz

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the transitional industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, and funded by government to promote careers and workforce development in our industries, work with those industries to create world-class qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.