Support for trades training great news for Ara

News News & events

02 Jun 2020

The economy has taken a hard hit from COVID-19, with unemployment rates rising and many people deciding to re-train or further their education.

Dennis Taylor, Head of Department- Trades at Ara Institute of Canterbury says he is pleased to see the Government’s support for trades industries reflected in the 2020 Budget with a $1.6B Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package.

“The Ara Trades department welcomes any initiative or funding that promotes and advances trades as a sound career pathway. A portfolio of solid pre-employment programmes and a partnership approach to fully supported on-job training will both help ensure a secure future across a range of trades we teach.”

Ara prepares and up-skills students for careers in a variety of trades including construction, electrical, motor-industry and engineering, with qualifications that are endorsed by more than 160 industry partners.

The funding allocation included within the package will support additional tertiary education enrolments, provide free trades training in critical industries and support on-the-job training and apprentice retention.

Taylor says this is great news for the industry. “Taking a longer-term approach to training and retraining New Zealanders for trades will lessen the need in future for such heavy reliance on migrant workers to address critical shortages in trades industries.”

“While some trade industry sectors and businesses will no doubt struggle to get up to full capacity over the next few years there are others who will grow. We have already seen examples of students who have very recently found employment in their chosen trade despite the recent constraints on business.”

Students will usually begin at Ara with a pre-trade programme to get the core skills and knowledge for working as a trainee or apprentice. Ara will then support students to undertake further training in their workplace.

“In considering a trades based career path or a change of direction, while opportunities may present themselves across a number of areas, people still need to choose a trade pathway of interest that will see them succeed, enjoy their work and effectively contribute to their industry of choice,” Taylor says.

Aidan Cadigan is currently enrolled on an Introduction to Construction programme as a Dual Enrolment student and spends three days a week at Christchurch Boys High School and two days a week on site at Ara’s trades campus in Woolston.

“It’s great to be back on site again at the Woolston campus. We were able to keep up with the theory work while we were in closure but it’s the practical work that I really wanted to get back into. This programme will help me decide which part of the construction industry I want to head into and set me up with the right skills to head in that direction.”