The Government’s Apprenticeship Support Programme was announced yesterday. This programme will fund four initiatives to help employers to retain and bring on new apprentices.

  1. The Apprentice Boost Initiative is a $380.6 million broad-based wage subsidy for employers to help you keep existing apprentices and employ new ones. It will be available to employers in all industries who have formal apprenticeship schemes for at least 20 months. Amounts will vary depending how far through an apprentice is in their training but if you have apprentices in a recognised New Zealand scheme you will get up to $12,000 per first-year apprentice and $6,000 per second-year apprentice. This initiative will be delivered by the Ministry for Social Development and will be available from August 2020. Further details will be available soon on how to apply for the subsidy.
  2. Funding for the existing Mana in Mahi programme, which helps employers provide on-the-job support for employees, is being expanded by $30.3 million in new funding. This will enable the programme to provide 24 months of support per participant (up from the current 12 months), and to provide an increased wage subsidy amount of up to $16,000 per first year participant, and up to $8,000 per second year participant. Additional pastoral care and other support will also be provided on top of this wage subsidy amount. The programme is delivered by Work and Income and if you think you have an opportunity to support someone, visit Manu in Mahi.
  3. The seven existing Group Training Schemes will be supported by a $19 million fund to ensure they remain viable following the Covid-19 lockdown. This will enable the schemes to continue to employ apprentices and trainees and provide related services to host businesses, where those businesses (mainly construction-related) are unable to support their apprentices. This scheme is delivered by the Tertiary Education Commission.
  4. The Regional Apprenticeships Initiative is a new regional apprenticeship scheme which will invest in new apprenticeships in regional New Zealand and particularly support displaced workers and Maori and Pacific peoples into jobs. More details on this will be released shortly.

As an employer, you will be able to access support from one of the above support programmes (except the Group Training Schemes fund which is not available for individual employers) and this will depend on the type of apprentice or pre-apprentice trainee you employ. If you have laid off an apprentice, you can rehire that apprentice and then receive support from Apprentice Boost.

All employers who have an apprentice will be able to receive a base subsidy rate up to $12,000 per annum for first-year apprentices and $6,000 per annum for second-year apprentices through the Apprentice Boost Initiative. Mana in Mahi and some Regional Apprenticeships participants will get a higher subsidy to reflect the different level of need of individual apprentices (or pre-apprentice trainees) involved.

For more information, you can visit Work and Income.

The following is the news article from NewsHub yesterday.

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