Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced that the number of new Trades Academies is to double, keeping even more 16 and 17 year olds engaged in education and practical skills training, who would otherwise be at risk of dropping out of the system.
Budget 2011 funding of $63.1 million and some reprioritised funding will be used to increase the promised new Trades Academies from five to ten, starting as soon as possible from next year, bringing the total number of Academies to 21.
The number of students attending Trades Academies is set to rise from over 700 to 2000 in 2012, with these young people better prepared to take up apprenticeships, enter the workplace or go on to further study.
“There was great demand from right around New Zealand to set up these new vocational skills and technology programmes for 16 and 17 year olds,” says Mrs Tolley.
“The Budget investment and some reprioritised funding has given us the flexibility to deliver twice the promised amount of new Trades Academies, on top of the eight which opened this year and the three which were already due to get underway next year.
“It means that the total number of 16 and 17 year olds taking part in the wider Youth Guarantee, Trades Academies and Service Academies will rise to over ten thousand next year and 12,500 by 2014.
“These young people, who have either dropped out of education or are at risk of dropping out, will now be engaged in practical skills training while earning worthwhile qualifications, free of charge.
“Trades Academies, which are partnerships between schools, tertiary providers, industry training organisations and employers, only started operating this year, and I want to acknowledge the courage and enthusiasm of everyone involved in making a real difference to the lives of our young people.”
The locations and successful providers for the ten new Academies will be announced over the next two weeks.