Extra apprenticeship funding a boost for Tauranga

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National MP Simon Bridges. Photo/file
National MP Simon Bridges. Photo/file

High-demand industries in the Bay will get a boost in the upcoming budget with more funding set aside for apprenticeship training.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says the city's booming construction and infrastructure industries will benefit from the new funding, which was announced this week.

Budget 2016 will provide $14.4 million over four years for another 5500 apprentices by 2020 to increase apprenticeship training.

Mr Bridges has welcomed the announcement.

"Tauranga's booming population and the growing demand for new houses and commercial buildings and infrastructure means the need for more workers in those industries," Mr Bridges said.

"A skilled workforce is the engine room of a thriving economy."

Mr Bridges said the extra funding would keep more 16 and 17-year-olds engaged in vocational training and would help young people on benefits into skills training.

"The construction sector is growing strongly and increased apprenticeship numbers will help fill skill gaps and provide the new people coming through to maintain that growth."

Last year there were more than 42,000 people enrolled in apprenticeships and apprenticeship training and the number of new apprenticeships in trades such as carpentry, plumbing, and electrical engineering were at the highest levels in nearly a decade.

"This is a trend which will continue to grow," Mr Bridges said.

"This funding will help young people into employment and a lifelong career and also help ease the pressure of finding workers in those high-demand industries."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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