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Labour Initiatives Ignore Farming Sector

5 July 2002

The Labour Party continues to ignore the Industry Training requirements of the farming sector and has failed to recognise rural secondary schools in its training initiatives, says Colin Bull, Federated Farmer's National Board Member.

"The Labour Party has said it will expand the gateway programme to all decile 1 -5 state schools to help bridge the gap between school and post compulsory education," said Mr Bull. "The proposed funding fails rural secondary schools because the current nature of the decile system elevates most secondary schools, servicing rural areas, above decile level 5."

Mr Bull says this problem is not limited to the Labour Party's recent industry training announcement, "smaller rural secondary schools are struggling to provide the range of curriculum expected by today's parents, students and employers and this policy announcement only adds to the widening gaps in education delivery between remote and urban areas"

The proposed Industry Training Funding boost was welcomed by the Federation but Mr Bull said that again it continues to ignore the self employed, "The Federation submitted on the Tertiary Education Reform Bill seeking a change to the way funding is allocated for the training of the self employed."

"This request was ignored and has continued to be ignored by the latest policy announcements. The bulk of the farming community are excluded from these initiatives because they are classed as self employed."

"The Labour Party claims they are intent on raising the participation levels of all New Zealanders to enable them to participate in a knowledge society but they continue to come out with initiatives that blatantly ignore the farming community" Mr Bull concluded.

ENDS

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