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NZ's top apprentices launch campaign to sign up more school leavers

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The GOT A TRADE WEEK campaign will this week raise awareness of careers that exist in 140 trades and services in New Zealand.

GOT A TRADE WEEK chair, Andrew Robertson says New Zealanders are well informed of the career opportunities in building, construction and other traditional trades, but there is less awareness about apprenticeships being offered in the growing service sectors, such as health and wellbeing, and retail supply chain.

"We’re not just building houses, we’re building whole communities. In Auckland, the unitary plan will see people living more closely together in new residential communities, and this will create retail hubs and hospitality precincts, and nationwide with an ageing population, New Zealand will see more aged care facilities being built

"The country will need to recruit more than a few more chippies. While we still need qualified apprentices to work in the traditional trades there are genuine opportunities for school leavers to earn national qualifications in the service sectors that will underpin the communities of the future," said Robertson.

According to 2015 Immigration NZ data, one third of the occupations on the Long-Term Skills Shortage List are trades and services.

"There is a worrying trend of major shortfalls being predicted and by 2020 there will be high demand for employment created by industry growth and replacement demand across all sectors," says Mr Robertson.

"Only 28 per cent of school leavers go to university. GOT A TRADE WEEK is about showcasing the opportunities that exist out there for the other 72 per cent," says Mr Robertson.

Trades and services typically refer to jobs that require practical skills and on-the-job training. This includes everything from construction, engineering and transport, to hairdressing, hospitality, aged care workers and retail. There are hundreds of roles to choose from and long-term career prospects for young people who are keen to work and willing to learn. This is an important conversation for jobseekers, for educators and for whanau.

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Louise Upston backs this week’s campaign.

"I strongly encourage school leavers, parents, teachers, job-seekers and those looking at getting back into a career or gaining a qualification to investigate the opportunities offered in trades and services," she said.

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