Participation in industry training

What We Have Found

The number of people undertaking industry training continues to increase.

Date Updated: October 2011

Indicator Description

The number of people undertaking industry training.

Why This Is Important

Participation in a knowledge society includes the continued participation of people in learning and education over their lifetime.  With rapid changes in society, economy and technology, skills can quickly become outdated.  It is important that people can continue to access education after they have completed their initial education.  It is equally important that these decisions to access education are made in conjunction with impartial career information, advice and guidance.

Industry training provides opportunities for ongoing development and updating of skills.  It concentrates on workplace learning, which can be on-the-job, off-the-job by a registered training provider, or a combination of both.

Industry training is also delivered through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, which is designed to complement and build on existing work-based industry training.  Modern Apprenticeships are targeted at young people aged 16 to 21 years on entry, although provision may be made for older people seeking a change in career.

How We Are Going

A total of 201,610 people undertook industry training, including Modern Apprenticeships, during 2009, which is 2.5 times the number participating in 2000 (81,344).  Based on numbers undertaking industry training as at 31 December of each year (as at 30 June for all years prior to 2000), this represents a 7-fold increase from 1995.

There were 12,119 Modern Apprenticeship trainees in 2009, which is 6 times the number of apprentices in 2001, but not a significantly different from the number in 2008.

Figure 1: Trainees in industry training (1995 to 2009)

Workers in their 20s are the most likely of all age groups to be learning on the job, accounting for one third of all people who participated in industry training in 2009.  However older people are also well represented in industry training, with 77,611 trainees aged 40 or over, accounting for over one third (38%) of all people who participated in industry training during 2009.  Nearly 37,000 of those trainees were aged 50 or over.

Figure 2: Estimated participation rates for workers in industry training by selected demographic characteristics (2009)

On a labour force basis, Māori and Pasifika workers engage in industry training more than other ethnic groups.  In 2009, an estimated 13.2% of all working Māori and 14.0% of all working Pasifika were participating in industry training.  This compared with 6.9% for European/Pākehā workers and 9.2% for all other workers.

Females are still under-represented in industry training, with women comprising 46.9% of all workers but only 30.8% of all learners in industry training.


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