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Lack Of Skills Inhibiting Growth

Monday, September 2nd, 2002

'Lack Of Skills Inhibiting Growth': Smarter Workplaces Called For

A major meeting of minds of business and education is scheduled next month for Auckland.

In the first of its kind, the event is to bring a concerted focus onto accelerating skills development in the workplace.

Contributing organisations range across the Transition Tertiary Education Commission, the NZ Qualifications Authority Auckland's universities and technical institutes and enterprises such as 'Creative Adventures', IBM and Sensation Yachts.

"Developing The Skills for Growth" is designed to align business workplace
learning far closer to the current and potential suppliers of education services, particularly for on-the-job learning.

"The Labour Department's skill shortages report released last week showed 12 per cent of businesses nominated unskilled labour as their major growth constraint," said George Gerard, director of EMA Learning. EMA is hosting the event.

"Manufacturers in the Auckland region are finding it especially difficult to find both skilled and unskilled labour. 43 per cent of manufacturers are having increasing difficulty finding skilled labour.

"It's vital we find smarter ways to get past this bottleneck to our country's growth.

"Learning is the basis for the modern economy, so we need to develop smarter ways to implement learning programmes.

"Our first response is to bring together as much of the expertise of our top educational institutions and combine them with the experience of some of our leading businesses which have enjoyed big successes by upgrading the skills of their employees. Some of the contributing enterprises are Sensation Yachts, G.U.D. Ltd (filter manufacturers) and Carter Holt Harvey. Enterprise NZ Trust, Skills Olympics and Creative New Zealand are also participating.

"Institutions such as Skill New Zealand, Auckland University, the Association of Polytechnics, the Industry Training Federation, and several colleges will be participating, as will the Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand.

"Training on-the-job in the workplace has a faster turn-around time than many institutional programmes, and is ideal for the specific needs of many firms.

"The titles of some of the presentations show how keenly the challenge of the event is being taken up: Jim Boyle of the Polytechnics Association's address is called 'Domesticating a Feral System'; 'The Big Idea' is from Creative New Zealand, and 'The High Performance Learning Environment' from The Warehouse.

"EMA is pleased to be bringing together presentations of such high calibre this two day event."

"Developing The Skills for Growth" is at the Carlton, Auckland on October 23rd & 24th.

Ends

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