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2007? What Do Employers Do Now?!!

Employers across the country will view today’s tertiary education announcement from Steve Maharey with caution, and in some cases, considerable irritation.

Employers & Manufacturers Assoc. (Central) chief executive Paul Winter says the Minister’s comments sound positive, but in fact expose the Government’s struggle to take a leadership role and implement policy which truly helps business grow.

Mr Maharey says employers can expect “more relevant and flexible skills from graduates in five years”. What are they supposed to do in the meantime, as they cope with skills shortages across the country?

“Does this mean the Government knows the graduates available now, and for the next five years, are not going to have all the skills employers need? If so, why has it taken this Government two and a half years to reach this conclusion, and having finally done so, why does it take another five years to see the benefit from it?”

New Zealand business confidence is certainly being tested by this Government, Mr Winter says.

“Compliance costs are rising, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol will cost us growth and jobs, and the country is in the grip of a skilled worker shortage, the like of which we have not seen for decades.

“Student debt is still a major burden to young people, their families and the community. Despite more New Zealanders returning home since September 11, which helps meet skill shortages, graduates with considerable debt are still likely to want to quit New Zealand and work overseas,” he says.

ENDS

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