The apprentice bonus announced in Prime Minister John Key's speech today has been welcomed in Christchurch, which is already struggling to attract enough tradespeople to the earthquake ravaged city.
Nelson College leaver Mitchell Drummond began his building apprenticeship in Christchurch on Wednesday, but he won't be eligible for the $2,000 payment under the Government's new apprenticeship scheme because it doesn't come into effect until April.
“It’s a bit disappointing or a bit gutting, but it'll awesome for the people that are starting in the role in the next couple of years,” he says.
Mr Drummond's boss Jim Stenberg is welcoming the scheme. He currently employs 13 apprentices.
“We're actually expanding as we talk, the whole insurance thing's starting to move and the opportunities are definitely there for more staff to come on board,” he says.
The scheme has also received support from the Registered Master Builders Association.
“More than ever there's going to be an influx over the next five to 10 years, so the more people we can get in the trade the better,” says the association’s president Clive Barrington.
The initiative has been welcomed in Christchurch, but it'll take more, much more, to ease the looming labour shortage in this broken city.