General Manager’s report 


ATNZ is leading the charge to address New Zealand’s skills shortage in engineering and related trades. We know the country needs more than 13,000 new people in the engineering sector by 2022 to meet industry growth and replace workers who retire or leave, and we continue to grow the pipeline of talented apprentices.

The organisation went through significant change in April 2017 to stand alone from Competenz. The team is now resourced for growth, with a new general manager, national manager and eight dedicated account managers across the country. Our health and safety manager has increased from part-time to full-time and we continue to have a dedicated HR and payroll team.

A key focus for 2017 was to extend ATNZ’s coverage outside of engineering. In response to industry need, we started recruiting apprentices for the plastics manufacturing and printing industries. We have the systems in place to further expand our coverage.

One of our main priorities is recruitment quality – we hire smart people with the attitude and drive to learn on-the-job and make an impact at our host companies. Our model also ensures apprentices have the support they need to successfully complete their training and become qualified tradespeople.

Our account managers are passionate about ensuring our apprentices reach their full potential. They continue to build their capability as people managers and a positive team culture contributes to our success.

The health and safety of our people is vital, and our robust practises and policies ensure apprentices and host companies operate in a safe environment. Health and safety is the focus of our Apprentice Days held annually in each region and in 2017 we broadened our focus to include mental wellbeing.

New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the world and the majority of our ATNZ apprentices fit the profile of the most at-risk group – men aged 20 to 24. We have a moral responsibility to support them and in 2017 we partnered with mental health educator Mike King to encourage our apprentices to show strength by speaking up about mental illness.

We know Kiwi businesses are in desperate need of quality employees. ATNZ is positioned well for a strong performance in 2018.


Toni Christie
General Manager, ATNZ