Govern­ment adds $20m to train­ing fund

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

Man­u­fac­tur­ingNZ says it wel­comes the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to spend up to $20m for an ex­tra 6000 ap­pren­tice­ship places.

“Hav­ing a highly skilled and f lex­i­ble work­force is es­sen­tial to build­ing workplace pro­duc­tiv­ity and re­main­ing com­pet­i­tive,” says Man­u­fac­tur­ingNZ ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Cather­ine Beard.

“New Zealand ap­pren­tice­ships play a key role in boost­ing skills lev­els across the econ­omy to meet in­dus­try needs, and help people get into sat­is­fy­ing ca­reers. They com­bine tech­ni­cal skills, knowl­edge and be­hav­iours that can be ap­plied across many jobs and sec­tors.

“The ex­ten­sion of additional in­cen­tive pay­ments for pri­or­ity trades will help to get the skills needed for the Christchurch rebuild and im­por­tantly en­able more firms to grow their own talent.

“A work­force that sup­ports in­dus­try and workplace pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness will not be ex­clu­sively met by in­dus­try train­ing.”

Bear says the busi­ness com­mu­nity would like to see the govern­ment take steps to en­sure all vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing meets the needs of both in­dus­try and em­ploy­ees.

“All young people need to un­der­stand the ca­reer op­tions avail­able to them. Things like im­prov­ing the qual­ity of ca­reers ad­vice in schools would help with this,” she says.

“We need to fo­cus on the fu­ture is­sues like rais­ing the sta­tus of ap­pren­tice­ships and the role of work-based and vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion.

“The suc­cess of the New Zealand Ap­pren­tice­ships and the Re­boot Scheme re­quires mak­ing businesses and in­di­vid­u­als the cus­tomers of in­dus­try train­ing. This will in turn help make New Zealand more pro­duc­tive and com­pet­i­tive.”

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