The Government will make job training for some industries free from July 1, with more people expected to take up training following job losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said industries were chosen based on those that are expected to be hard hit by Covid-19, "such as hospitality, tourism and food, where employers can keep their apprentices on".
"For 2021, we will refine these initial targeted areas to reflect the work that is underway across Government to better understand how industry workforce needs are being affected by Covid-19 and what skills will be needed to support the country’s economic recovery."
The targeted funding includes primary industries, construction, community support, manufacturing, mechanical engineering, technology, electrical engineering and road transport.
The free trades training for all ages was announced in Budget 2020.
"The $320 million fund is part of a wider package to get New Zealand moving again announced on Budget Day. It will work alongside the Employer Apprenticeship subsidy scheme, of which we’ll be announcing further details shortly," Mr Hipkins said.
It was expected those undertaking the courses would save $2500-$6500 a year.
"We know as a result of Covid-19, many New Zealanders will be looking to retrain and employers in key sectors will need more skilled people," Mr Hipkins said. "It’s designed not just for school leavers but for people in a range of circumstances and stages of their lives."
"Apprentices and learners whose courses started earlier in the year but continue beyond 1 July will be eligible for a partial refund."
The fund was available from July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022.