Well - news from the ITO - fees are increasing - For a 48 month plumbing and gasfitting apprenticeship you will be charged (from 1 April 2012) - $10580.00 (that is $2645 per year, $220.42 per month or $50.87 per week) - and that's not all folks - the ITO are now not going to fund "other health and safety related courses" which in plain speak is, I imagine, the Working at Heights and Confined Spaces. This will fall to the employer no doubt at a cost of several hundred dollars. AND just for a bit of extra cost - from 1 January 2012 all text books and standards will NO LONGER be included within the annual fee, but can be purchased through the ITO at discounted rates.
Now more than ever is the time for employers to ditch the ITO and head straight to the Polytecs for a direct contract. Cut the dragons head off. This astronomical increase is criminal - and at a time when the service levels have plummeted. Oh yes, much is being made of the RECORD numbers of apprentices getting through this year, but at least 160 of them have been notifed that they won't be getting their national certificates until they either do some more assessments or gather evidence from their workplace. All employers and apprentices who are affected by this need to send a bill to the ITO for the time involved. We've paid once to have our apprentices trained and we shouldn't have to pay twice. Also WHO is responsible for dropping the ball, WHO hasn't kept an eye on the assessment and ensure it met with NZQA's requirements? WHO failed to provide NZQA with the answers on several occasions when they were investigating the situation at MIT? Who is going to fall on their sword and take responsibility and accountability? Are the ITO Board putting safe guards in place to ensure this doesn't happen again? Shame, shame, shame on them - and how will this helpt the skills shortage? Not a bit. Stroke of genius to send out such shitty news two days before we break up for Christmas though. Shrewdness at its best.