Government Proposes Changes to Apprenticeship Training02 August 2012
“[Changes to industry changing] will encourage further development of the apprenticeships system, and it will help lock in and further improve results for learners and their employers” were the closing comments in Minister Joyce’s speech at the recent ITF conference in Wellington. By and large, this is good news for the building industry.
As part of their ongoing review of apprentice training, the Government has recently released a consultation paper outlining their proposed changes, due to take effect from 2014. The BCITO will be engaging with our industry so that we can respond to the proposal during this six-week consultation period.
So far the review has focused on trying to make industry training more efficient, given 70% of the cost of an apprenticeship is funded by Government. The idea is to get more people into training, and more people completing their training with good skills to show at the end. This will largely be achieved through thorough support provided by ITOs.
The consultation paper goes into detail as to what an ITO (such as the BCITO) should be doing to support training. We’re pleased to announce that our model of Training Advisors supporting apprentices and their employers fits well with the Government’s plans. Of course there’s always room for improvement, and the BCITO will take this opportunity to look at how we can lift our game.
One issue the consultation paper looks at closely is around Modern Apprenticeships. At present, some people registered as Modern Apprentices have an extra Modern Apprenticeship Coordinator, who visits them in much the same way as our BCITO Training Advisors do. We’ll be seeking the opinions of our employers and apprentices as to whether there is a need to have an extra coordinator, or whether extra support from your BCITO Training Advisor will be enough. Whatever the outcome, all apprentices will eventually have the same high level of support, which we think is a great outcome.
The only proposed change that could worry industry is around training done off site. The Government wants to make it possible for learners to complete their trade training in a simulated classroom environment, such as in a polytech. This could have the effect of some tradespeople being qualified without having done much onsite experience. Again, we’ll be asking employers across the country how they feel about this.
For more information on the Government’s review of industry training, please click here.
The Government’s consultation document is also available here (or in direct link in 2nd paragraph above). We ask that employers hold their responses until the local area meetings (details in paragraph 3 above).
The changes are unlikely to affect current apprentices. If anything changes in this space, the BCITO will contact apprentices directly.