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Workplace vocational education on the rise


Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed a report which shows apprentice numbers and completion rates are both up, following the major industry training reforms of 2012/13. 

The Ministry of Education report on workplace training NZ’s Workplace-Based Learners: 2014, shows a shift to apprenticeships and away from lower level traineeships. At the same time, completion rates have increased.

“Our workforce needs world-class skills and knowledge that will boost the productivity of New Zealand’s economy while helping individuals to get ahead in life. A more highly skilled, highly qualified workforce is essential for that,” Mr Joyce said.

“I’m delighted that the results are tracking well with the goals of the Tertiary Education Strategy and the new industry training legislation,

“The creation of the NZ Apprenticeships, mergers of industry training organisations (ITOs), and a focus on quality have all contributed to a stronger industry training system, and to better outcomes,” Mr Joyce said.

Highlights from the Ministry of Education report were:

  • There were 41,800 people enrolled in apprenticeships and apprenticeship-type training  in 2014
  • The numbers in apprenticeship training was up by 11.5 per cent on the previous year
  • The credit completion rate for apprentices was 88 per cent, compared with 72 per cent in 2009

“These results show the changes implemented through the Industry Training Review and resulting legislation have lifted access to quality industry training,” said Steven Joyce. “While there remains more work to do to lift performance further, the redesigned system is responding well to the needs of employers and workers”.

The report, New Zealand’s Workplace-Based Learners: 2014 is available at 


The annual report New Zealand’s Workplace-Based Learners: 2014, produced by the Ministry of Education, provides a summary of important characteristics of workplace-based training students and their achievement in tertiary education in 2014.

Key points from the report are:

  1. Overall, the number of industry training learners increased on the previous year, with an increase in the number of apprentices more than offsetting a fall in the number enrolled in lower level traineeships
  2. There were 25,200 New Zealand Apprentices in 2014, taking the total number of people in apprenticeships and apprenticeship-type industry training to 41,800, an increase of 11.5 per cent over 2013
  3. The credit completion rate for apprentices was 88 per cent, compared with 72 per cent in 2009
  4. The five-year qualification completion rates of industry trainees and apprentices continued to increase, to 42 per cent and 51 per cent respectively
  5. The number of apprentices awarded qualifications increased
  6. The number of Managed Apprentices, workplace-based apprentices whose training is administered by polytechnics, increased in 2014 to pre-recession levels
  7. The number of secondary school students in Trades Academies rose by 25 per cent.

Steven Joyce

26 JANUARY, 2016 2012