The Crane Association of New Zealand (CANZ) has received confirmation that funding for crane training is now available through the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF).
Trainees who enrol in the New Zealand Certificate in Cranes (Levels 3 and 4) will have their training and assessment fully paid for by the TTAF scheme. There are no crane apprenticeships, so the cost to train operators is currently paid for by the crane company / employer.
CANZ has been working with The Skills Organisation (Skills) to secure this funding and both parties were delighted with the announcement.
President of CANZ, Tony Gibson said “with New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery being so focussed on construction and infrastructure projects, this funding approval is well deserved recognition of the key role the crane industry plays in the delivery of shovel ready projects”.
While the industry might be small, it is a vital part of the construction and infrastructure sector, he said.
“We’re thrilled at the opportunity this provides the crane industry to upskill their new and existing employees and offer them the full qualification. This is a great way for our members to invest in their people which benefits the employee, the employer and the wider industry.”
Skills is the Transitional Industry Training Organisation for the crane industry. There are currently 87 Skills’ trainees participating in training across the Level 3 and 4 certificates.
As New Zealand gears up to kickstart its economy, CANZ expects this number to increase as crane companies respond to increasing demand.
“The crane industry has a crucial role to play in New Zealand’s construction sector, particularly in this post-COVID era,” said Chief Executive of Skills, Garry Fissenden. “So, there is no question – with the increased activity we are seeing in the construction sector overall – that the need for skilled crane operators will only increase.”
CANZ is working closely with Skills and industry trainer-assessors to ensure that the benefits of the new funding are well understood. The necessary changes needed will be made to the systems and processes at Skills to ensure training is properly administered, and that quality remains a priority.
“We would encourage anyone looking for a new career or a change in career to consider a career in cranes,” said CANZ Executive Officer, Sarah Toase. “There is a clear pathway to progress your skills and with experience, there are dozens of interesting and varied roles to pursue.
“People in the crane industry are passionate about what they do, and they take pride in their work. It’s truly rewarding to be a part of it and now is really the time to get involved.”
How does TTAF funding work for crane training?
A trainee must be in employment with a company providing work related to the scope of the programme (i.e. crane operations).
Once a training agreement is signed, training can commence and will be arranged by Skills.
A Skills contracted cranes trainer-assessor will provide training and assessment to the employee at their workplace, or elsewhere as agreed. It is paid for by Skills, using TTAF funding. There is no cost to the learner or crane company for training and assessment, but charges may be incurred for travel and accommodation of the trainer-assessor if required.
When does the funding become available?
It applies to all crane qualifications’ enrolments from now. Skills is currently making the necessary changes to their systems to enable access to Skills contracted crane trainer-assessors. We imagine enrolments will pick up in the new year.
Who is eligible to receive this funding?
All domestic students enrolled with Skills and eligible for government tuition subsidies are eligible to access TTAF. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’ve studied before or if you’ve used any Fees Free entitlement.
If you have a visa that means you can work in New Zealand, and this visa covers the expected duration for the programme of enrolment, TTAF will pay your industry training fees.
If you’re already enrolled with Skills for a cranes qualification and your programme is on the TTAF list, you and your employer will be contacted in the next few weeks about next steps. TTAF would only cover the training and assessment arranged by Skills for the remainder of your programme.
Who can provide training under the scheme?
Training can only be provided by organisations who have programme approval for the certificate in cranes. For crane training (to receive the full qualification), this is currently only held by Skills, so training must be organised through them.
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