Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia New Zealand will be investing $13.6 million in a new Regional School of Construction for Wellington.
Speaking at the launch of the Construction Sector Report at WelTec, Mr Joyce said the new initiative will consolidate engineering and construction programmes around the region into two main hubs centred in Petone and Porirua.
“The new Regional School of Construction is a positive initiative for the Wellington region where work-ready graduates will be trained to go straight into the construction sector,” Mr Joyce says.
“This encouraging development reflects the growing importance of the construction sector and flows from the Government’s considerable investment in construction skills training to support major infrastructure projects throughout the Wellington region and across New Zealand, including the Canterbury rebuild.
“The Government has now invested $57 million in the Skills for Canterbury contingency to increase the size of the construction training pipeline around the country ahead of the expected growth in construction activity. This has allowed providers like Weltec and Whitireia to have the confidence to grow their offerings and invest in new facilities, like the one we are announcing today.”
On top of that, earlier this year, the Government announced the Apprenticeship Reboot scheme to get more apprentices qualified and more in priority trades. To date there has been an increase of 8000 apprentices through this scheme. Priority trades have accounted for 67 per cent of potentially eligible trainees.
“The National-led Government has overseen a move to a results focus in industry training with more young people achieving qualifications that will set them up for their working career. This is unlike the previous government who had up to 100,000 ‘phantom trainees’ who achieved no credits and in some cases were no longer alive,” Mr Joyce says.
“The new construction school in Wellington will help encourage more young people into building and engineering and help meet the Government’s Better Public Services target of 55 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds gaining a Level 4 or above qualification.”