Apprentices Essential for Economic Recovery

May 28, 2020, 1:39 p.m.

As we move into post-COVID economic recovery mode, there will be work to be done and Master Plumbers Chief Executive Greg Wallace said with border restrictions still in place, we will need to train up local plumbing, gas fitter and drain layer apprentices.

“The borders will continue to be shut for a substantial amount of time. If we don’t train local people to do this job, part of the economic recovery will not be delivered”

“Gateway programmes are really successful. It also gives young people a taste of the other industries they can look at as a career for themselves”, said Mr Wallace

Budget 2020 gave trade training a nice slice of the pie, with a $1.6 billion boost covering Māori Apprentices Fund, free trade training for industries and apprentice employment.

Apprenticeships are vital to the trades industry and plumber Jack Rogers of Kaitaia has trained over 18 apprentices during 50-years in the industry. Jack Rogers was recognised at the New Zealand Plumbing Awards for his contribution to the industry with one of his apprentices, George Steed, also taking a top spot in the national awards.

“The Gateway programme gives us good insights into their capabilities and interests that can move on to a qualified career”, said Mr Rogers.

On the budget boost, Mr Rogers said “It certainly needed to have that injection for training tradespeople coming through. It’s pleasing and we’re happy to hear its come through”.

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