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Associate Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Louise Upston has congratulated BCITO (Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation) on its 11,000th apprenticeship at an event in Whanganui today.

Ms Upston met with trainers and apprentices today to celebrate the milestone marking not only 11,000 apprentices through the BCITO but 43,000 New Zealanders engaged in an apprenticeship, with many of those in the construction and engineering sectors.

“The demand for construction sector workers shows a strong economy and good job prospects for school leavers and those switching careers. This is great news for New Zealanders,” Ms Upston says.

According to MBIE’s Future demand for construction workers, around 49,000 more people will be needed in construction-related occupations in the next five years, taking the total to over 539,000.

 “We are in the middle of New Zealand’s biggest ever building boom, the rapid scaling-up of construction in Auckland will result in around $17 billion of new construction in 2018.

“This Government is investing to meet the skills challenge. In Budget 2017 we announced a further $7 million over four years on top of the additional 2016 funding of $14.4 million to support industry training growth.

“Apprenticeships are not just an alternative career choice for young people, they are critical for our economic growth. There are many benefits of work-based training. You can earn while you learn, you are exposed to cutting-edge technologies, and you can progress towards a qualification that can set you up for a career.

“We need to work together to help young people understand that apprenticeships and on the job training is a great way to gain the skills needed for lifelong success.

“To meet our target of 50,000 overall apprentices by 2020 we need support from parents, teachers, careers advisors, and businesses. Well done to BCITO on its significant contribution to achieving our goal,” Ms Upston says.

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