Budget: New trades, apprenticeships investment 'never seen' in years - BCITO

An apprenticeship management organisation is "amazed" at Budget 2020 and the level of investment in a trades package.

The 'Rebuilding Budget' revealed a $1.6 billion investment into a trades and apprenticeships package that is expected to benefit 50,000 to 60,000 people.

Training in critical sectors like building and manufacturing will be free.

Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) chief executive Warwick Quinn says it's been a while since they've seen a cash injection as large as this.

"We're amazed. We've never seen that sort of investment in trades training and skilled apprentices in 40 years," he says.

It's expected jobs will be created for people in farming, cleaning up rivers, culling wallabies and building new houses.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says Kiwis will be relied upon to fill the role which migrant workers played in performing these jobs.

"[These are] areas where we've previously relied on migrant workforces who won't necessarily be able to come into the country. We'll be looking at heavily investing in trades in those areas," Hipkins says.

Kiwis will be put to work fast by the Government building 6000 new state houses and 2000 more transitional homes for the homeless community, something which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hopes will be remembered.

"COVID-19 will be remembered as a period where New Zealand didn't just stay home, it made sure everyone had a home."

Naylor Love CEO Rick Herd says the construction industry needs the work because they're expecting fewer people investing in new homes.

"The important thing is that we do retain jobs, so 8000 public houses is a good thing," Herd says.