Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
MP for Mt Albert
Hon Chris Hipkins
Minister of Education
21 October, 2019 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders
take up a trade to help close the skills gap.
This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement at Heretaunga College in Upper
“We will be funding 2,000 more Trades Academy places from next year, and up to 2,000 more places for Gateway,” Jacinda
“We are committed to reversing the long-term decline in trades training. Trades skills shortages is a key issue business
regularly raise with me and this programme is one step in the Government’s plan to plug that gap.
“We want more people to see careers in areas like building, plumbing and agriculture as an attractive and first-option
when they leave school to close the persistent skills gap in our country.
“This Government values vocational education and training and is committed to raising the profile of vocational
education in schools and communities around New Zealand.
“This is the first increase in the numbers of Gateway places since the last time Labour and New Zealand First were in
Government,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Secondary-tertiary initiatives such as Gateway and Trades Academies have contributed to young people getting higher
qualifications and more students getting jobs when they leave school,” Chris Hipkins said.
“An evaluation of Gateway in the early 2000s showed that more than 70% of employers reported several benefits from their
involvement with Gateway and 81% of students reported that their involvement with Gateway helped with their future
“Trades Academies have been effective in increasing the number of young people who attain NCEA Level 2 or equivalent.
“Despite their success, over recent years funding for Trades Academies and Gateway has been allowed to lag behind
“This is the latest step in our plan to increase the numbers of New Zealanders in trades and work skills training and
sits alongside the Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Awards, the introduction of micro credentials and the
Government’s wider work to reform vocational education.
“Schools are, and will continue to be, a crucial part of vocational education.
“We want schools better linked to the world of work, and for students in school to have clearer and more direct pathways
into vocational education in the workplace and the tertiary system,” Chris Hipkins said.
Notes for editors:
• Trades Academies allow secondary students to take on full-time study that combines school, tertiary and/or work-based learning.
• Gateway enables secondary school students to undertake structured work-based learning and gain exposure to vocational career