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The skills issue: silver linings and grey clouds

Wed, 11 Aug 2004

ITF National Office

The skills issue: silver linings and grey clouds

"The lack of investment in skills training must be fixed", said Darel Hall Executive Director of the Industry Training Federation.

"New Zealand could have had 25,000 more people in industry training in 2004, including another 3,000 Modern Apprentices.

"The ITF estimates the Government's component of the investment in the extra skilled workers would have been an extra $29 million in 2004.

"The ITF further estimates that the contribution from industry would have been an extra $45m - $10m in cash investment and $35m in non-cash investment (for example use of workplace machinery and staff time).

Industry Training is a system that requires a cash contribution from industry and heavily relies on the use of the workplace for the upskilling process. It is a world leading system that maximises the value of taxpayer contribution and taxpayer return.

"The good news is that we have over 130,000 people in industry training now and close to 7,000 Modern Apprentices

"Economist Rod Oram told the ITF Conference in July that we can not double the number of people in our economy to achieve our economic and social goals, therefore the goal has to be double value added per employee.

"We know that 80% of labour force in ten years is already employed - we have to upskill ourselves, we can't rely on our children to build our wealth for us.

"We are reaching a tipping point where leaders in many spheres are reaching the same conclusion - industry training is a vital component to our future that needs priority", Darel Hall said.

ENDS

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