Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce new apprenticeship scheme

Newshub can reveal the Prime Minister is set to make a major announcement about a new apprenticeship for the dole scheme next week.

"I've made no secret of the fact that apprenticeships is something that I believe in and have worked passionately on since I've been in Parliament," Jacinda Ardern told Newshub on Thursday.

Ms Ardern spoke to Newshub on her first day back after six weeks of maternity leave. The Prime Minister gave exclusive interviews to the New Zealand media.

The policy will see employers paid a Government subsidy - equivalent to one year on the Jobseeker Support Benefit - to take on young workers who are currently on the benefit.

"When it comes to employment addressing the skill shortage is a big priority for this Government, and doing that so we can address some of the gaps that we have around for instance apprenticeships is a goal we've had for some time. But I won't give any specifics around what we're yet to announce," Ms Ardern said.

As Newshub previously revealed, the Government's apprenticeship for the dole scheme is set to come at a much higher cost than what Labour had signalled during the election.

It estimated the cost of the policy to be $13.2 million per year. But details from a Cabinet paper show it is likely to be about four times that - anywhere between $51m and $63m a year. The cost was based on an estimated 4000 people taking up the scheme.

Ms Ardern would not comment on the costs of the policy ahead of the announcement.

"Apprentices from our perspective, they're a no brainer, we train young people in particular, they earn while they learn and we make sure that we deliver some of the key infrastructure in particular that New Zealand needs," she said.

"We should be investing them and we'll look to put out the details on how we'll do that in the future."


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