Changes to funding structure for qualifications

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All industry training organisations, including the Building and Construction Industry Organisation (BCITO), are required by the New Zealand Government to seek a financial contribution from apprentices signed up for training in their industry. 

This “industry contribution” covers approximately one third of the running costs of individual courses. On January 1, 2006, the BCITO’s fee structure was modified, resulting in changes to the BCITO’s annual industry contribution fee. The BCITO is charged $1 for each individual credit registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) framework as part of an apprentice’s Record of Learning — evidence of the number of unit standards individual apprentices have completed towards their final qualification. 

In the past, the BCITO has charged apprentices for this cost at the completion of their qualification, but this fails to recognise the progressive achievement of credits over the term of an apprenticeship.From January 2006, all credits registered on the NZQA framework will not be charged separately but as part of the annual industry contribution fee. 

This means the industry contribution is now $540 per year, which includes $450 industry contribution plus $90 NZQA costs. Overall, the costs are not any higher for the average apprentice. Using the carpentry qualification as the benchmark, the increased amount is based on the fact that apprentices register an average of 90 credits per year, resulting in a cost of $90. 

While the number of credits required for other qualifications is less (and therefore the registration of credits costs less), this is reflected in the shorter time frame needed to complete those qualifications.

 The industry contribution fee helps support a vast range of activity undertaken by the BCITO on behalf of industry and clients. 

These activities include:

• maintaining existing qualifications and associated resources, ensuring the BCITO has the most up-to-date qualifications and material possible, thereby improving training outcomes for clients, 

• developing new qualifications and resources so the BCITO has a broad range of qualifications to meet industry requirements, 

• promoting the building and construction industry and associated qualifications/training through schools and career expos to encourage people to work in the sector, 

• quality assuring the BCITO’s work and training so there is a consistent level of training around the country, 

• contributing to government policy — for example, industry licensing, to ensure it’s fair and appropriate, and 

• regular communication between training advisors, trainees and their employers to ensure training is on track and the right steps are being taken towards attaining the relevant qualification. 

If you have any questions contact your local BCITO offi ce on 0800 4 BCITO (0800 422 486).