Participation in industry training
What We Have Found
Upward trend in apprenticeships continues
Apprenticeships have been increasing in number since 2012. From 2016 to 2017, numbers increased by 7.3 percent to 46,100. The latest increase for women was 21 percent and for men it was 5.7 percent.
Overall, participation in industry training decreased. The increase in the number of apprentices was offset by 5.3 percent decrease in the number of trainees.
Date Updated: November 2018
This indicator looks at the number of people in employment who enter an individual training agreement, often as part of an employment contract, which sets out their learning programme and goals. See the indicator definition for a detailed description.
How We Are Going
Apprenticeships numbers up, industry trainee numbers down
Apprenticeship numbers increased by 7.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, while trainee numbers decreased by 5.3 percent. Participation in industry training had been increasing since 2012.
Overall, the number of learners in industry training fell in 2017 by 1.5 percent to 146,000. Of these, 94,100 were men and 50,900 were women. See Figure 1. The number of men decreased by 3.7 percent from 2016 to 2017, while the number of women increased by 3.6 percent.
Figure 1: Learners in industry training (including apprentices) by gender
Apprenticeship numbers totalled 46,100 in 2017. Of these, 40,400 were men and 5,670 were women. See Figure 2.
The percentage increase in apprenticeship numbers from 2016 to 2017 was considerably higher for women (21 percent) than for men (5.7 percent). In terms of the headcount, the increase was 985 for women and 2,180 for men.
Figure 2: Apprentices in industry training by gender
Participation rate drops as workforce expands
The proportion in the New Zealand workforce in industry training (including apprentices) declined slightly from 6.3 percent in 2016 to 6.0 percent in 2017. Since 2013, the increase in the employed workforce has exceeded the increase in the number in industry training.
The proportion in the population aged 16 to 64 years in industry training also shows a slow downward trend since 2013. Figure 3 illustrates a similar downward pattern in participation for students studying at a tertiary education provider.
Figure 3: Participation rates of industry trainees (including apprentices) and students enrolled at tertiary education providers
Upward trend in training at levels 3 and 4
In 2017, close to 80 percent of industry training was at qualification levels 3 and 4. This compared to 66 percent five years earlier. See Figures 4 and 5 for industry trainees and apprentices by selected demographic characteristics
About 40 percent of all industry training at level 3 and 4 was undertaken by apprentices in 2017. This reflects the requirements of New Zealand Apprenticeships programmes.
Figure 4: Number of learners in industry training (including apprentices) by selected demographic characteristics
Figure 5: Number of apprentices by selected demographic characteristics
Majority of apprentices aged 24 years and under
In 2017, 70 percent of apprentices were aged 29 years and under.
Across all industry training, people are more evenly spread among the age groups. In 2017, 51 percent of all industry training learners were aged under 30 years, with 49 percent aged over 30 years.
Greater proportions of Pacific and Asian learners
Since 2012, Pacific and Asian industry training learners have increased in number and as a proportion of all learners. In 2017, 12 percent were Asian and 8.6 percent were Pacific people. Māori learners have also increased in number since 2012, while proportionately the group remained stable, at 17 percent.
The proportion of European learners has decreased from 63 percent in 2012 to 57 percent in 2017. A similar pattern exists for European apprentices. Seventy-six percent of apprentices were European in 2012, compared to 72 percent in 2017. In terms of the headcount, the number of apprentices has been increasing for all ethnic groups since 2012.
Māori, Pacific and Asian apprentice numbers showed small proportional increases over the last five years. In 2017, 15 percent of apprentices were Māori, 6.3 percent Asian and 5.4 percent Pacific people.
- Ministry of Education (2017). Tertiary Education Strategy Monitoring 2014-2019. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
- Ministry of Education (2017). Profile & Trends 2016: New Zealand's Workplace-based Learners [Part 3 of 6]. Wellington: Ministry of Education.