The Government will spend $30,000 on contracting five New Zealand social media influencers to post about vocational training, in a bid to bolster the number of apprentices.
The influencers will be required to post two original items on their social media accounts and respond to comments on the post.
It comes as part of the new vocational education and training (VET) plan, which aims to further bolster the number of apprentices in New Zealand.
"This is our chance – we have been a nation of apprentices where we grow our own skills before, this is our chance to make sure we're that country again," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.
To do this, the Government has enlisted the help of social media influencers who will begin actively targeting school leavers and people under 25.
These influencers are Raniera Rewiri, Ruby Tui, Jazz Thornton, Chelsea Roper and Clint Roberts
Most of these individuals are working in vocations, or are in training, according to a spokesperson for Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
Overall, $4.4 million over four years has been budgeted for the VET campaign - of the initial $1.2m, some $30,000 is being spent on influencers.
Other areas of spending include TV ($552,000), print ($3400), radio ($188,000), digital display ($90,000), digital video ($170,000), and social media ($140,000).
It comes after the Government earmarked $320 million earlier this year to make all apprenticeships, as well as, certificates, diplomas and programmes in targeted industries, free.
That scheme began on July 1 this year – since then, 14,000 people have started apprenticeships. That's up from 7500 people the year prior.
When it comes to female apprentices, government data shows there has been considerable growth in that area too, with 1800 more women now learning a trade.
That's up from 845 over the same period the year before.
"These are extremely encouraging signs given the historical perception of vocational careers," Hipkins said.
"Based on these numbers and research by the Tertiary Education Commission, New Zealanders' views on vocational education and training are shifting."
Hipkins said it was a welcome development to see more women going into these traditionally male-dominated industries but said there was "still a long way to go".
The new campaign to get more people into trades is in two phases: The first is the marketing phase where the Government is enlisting the help of social media influencers.
There will also be radio announcer adlibs aimed at starting a "meaningful conversations about vocational education and training in the community", according to Hipkins.
"The second phase of the campaign, set to begin next month, will include TV, radio and social media ads, digital displays and online videos."