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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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Last week the government announced a Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) as part of their 2020 budget to support the country’s COVID-19 recovery. The fund will aid those New Zealanders who want to undertake vocational education and training by making this training fee free.

From 1 July 2020, the fund will make all apprenticeships, programmes in targeted areas and industry training in targeted areas free for students of all ages.

EIT was pleased to hear about the government’s decision. At EIT, many qualifications that are offered will fall into the government’s list of targeted areas, particularly qualifications in trades, primary industries and health and wellbeing.  Apprentices and learners could save between $2,500 and $6,500 for training over a year. 

“The government’s subsidy will enable us to play an increased role in training more people into skilled jobs and support local businesses as we come out of the COVID-19. It gives us the opportunity to increase capacity and broaden programmes to meet the developing needs of our regional economies,” says EIT’s acting CEO Bill Kimberley.

TTAF targets industries that have a high demand for skilled workers or where the demand is expected to grow during the COVID-19 recovery period. Targeted areas include primary industries, construction, community support, community health, manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology, electrical engineering and road transport.

“EIT is highly regarded for the quality of its teaching and student support. We currently offer a number of highly successful programmes which fall in the targeted areas, both in the Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti regions,” says Mr Kimberley.

Mr Kimberley believes, “The removal of fees for apprenticeships and targeted training programmes will make these programmes attractive to both new learners and people looking to retrain as it removes one of the barriers to study. It will also relieve some of the burden on employers who in the past covered some of their apprentices’ study fees.”

Students don’t need to apply to access the fund but should register their interest and applications as demand increases.