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Pre-apprenticeship time with employer
Key findings

There is often a gap between when an individual is employed in the trades, to when they commence an apprenticeship. This is due to both the employee and the employer testing whether the individual with make a good match with the employer and the industry. The time taken between employment and starting training varies between industries, with electricians taking the least amount of time, followed by plumbers and carpenters.

Introduction

It is common in the trades for an employer to 'test out' an employee for a few months before agreeing to sign them up to an apprenticeship. Alternatively, new employees like to trial out an industry before committing to training. This report investigates the time taken between employment and training between industries and overtime.

Pre-apprenticeship time with employer

The chart below demonstrates the distribution of time apprentices spend between employment and starting training. The data can be switched between industry. Looking specifically at carpentry, half of the apprentices start their training within 6 months of starting employment. The other half is much more spread out, with almost a quarter taking longer than 10 months in employment before starting training.

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Methodology

From ministry of education records we take all apprentices starting with BCITO, Competenz and Skills Org each year. These apprentices are linked to their IRD tax records and their employer at the time of starting their apprenticeship is identified. To ensure we are identifying the correct employer associated with apprenticeship training we limit employers to those with at least three months of continuous employment of the apprentice after their start date. We then identify how long apprentices work for these employers prior to the official start date of their apprenticeship.

Over time

This chart shows how the distribution outlined above, changed over time. Again, looking at the carpentry industry, it can be observed that the median time an individual was employed prior to training jumped to 7 months in 2009, then fell to 5 months in 2010. The range of time spent increased throughout this same period to eventually peak in 2011. This is likely due to employers being less eager to sign on an apprentice during the recession in 2008 and 2009.

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Methodology

From ministry of education records we take all apprentices starting with BCITO, Competenz and Skills Org each year. These apprentices are linked to their IRD tax records and their employer at the time of starting their apprenticeship is identified. To ensure we are identifying the correct employer associated with apprenticeship training we limit employers to those with at least three months of continuous employment of the apprentice after their start date. We then identify how long apprentices work for these employers prior to the official start date of their apprenticeship.

Between industries

When comparing this distribution between industries, it can be seen that on median, electricians spent the shortest amount of time working for their employer prior to starting training of 4 months, while concreters took the longest amount of time of 14 months.

Download data

Methodology

From ministry of education records we take all apprentices starting with BCITO, Competenz and Skills Org each year. These apprentices are linked to their IRD tax records and their employer at the time of starting their apprenticeship is identified. To ensure we are identifying the correct employer associated with apprenticeship training we limit employers to those with at least three months of continuous employment of the apprentice after their start date. We then identify how long apprentices work for these employers prior to the official start date of their apprenticeship.

Disclaimer

Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Statistics New Zealand in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975, and secrecy provisions of the Tax Administration Act 1994. The findings are not Official Statistics. The results in this paper are the work of the authors, not Statistics NZ, and have been confidentialised to protect individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations from identification. Read our full disclaimer here.

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