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Union welcomes free tradie training announcement

June 3, 2020

Union welcomes free tradie training announcement

Government funding means free training for primary sector jobs. Photo: Bernadette Basagre.

New government funding for free training for primary sector jobs to aid in Covid-19 recovery has been welcomed by trade union E tū.

E tū said it was very happy with the Targeting Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) which will pay the cost of learners to undertake vocational education and training in high demand industries.

“We are very keen for people to be able to develop and extend their skills and that there be proper industry training,” said Paul Tolich, E tū senior national industrial officer.

Mr Tolich said the TTAF will benefit those who have lost jobs during Covid-19 lockdown, meaning people can turn to primary sector jobs without worrying about training expenses.

Education minister Chris Hipkins said the government has initially targeted vocational programmes in primary industries including agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, construction, community support, manufacturing, electrical engineering, and road transport.

“That means we’ve removed costs for learners, apprentices or employers for the next two and a half years.

“[We’re] targeting courses and programmes that are more likely to lead to jobs,” said Mr Hipkins.

The government aims to make it easier for Kiwis to train in industries where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from Covid-19.

“We know as a result of Covid-19 many New Zealanders will be looking to retrain and employers in key sectors will need more skilled people,” said Mr Hipkins.

Mr Tolich hopes this will boost the economy, with people training for more skilled jobs and being paid more.

The $320 million fund is part of a wider package to tackle growing unemployment and boost New Zealand’s economy.

Apprentices and learners whose courses started earlier in the year will be eligible for a partial refund in light of the changes.

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