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Skills package sustains economic growth

Skills package sustains economic growth

“The skills package announced today sustains economic growth”, said Pieter Burghout, Chair of the Industry Training Federation.

“The money is good news; the show of commitment is great news.”

“Labour and skills shortages are at very high levels. 80% of the workforce in ten years is in the workforce now, so not only do we need to support young people entering industry through Modern Apprenticeships, we need to up-skill our current workers through industry training generally. This between budgets package shows further commitment to a skilled future.

The National Bank Small Business Monitor shows a lack of skilled employees is now the biggest problem facing Small and Medium Enterprises – more important than bureaucracy, competition or low turnover.

According to July’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion, 20% of all firms reported labour as the single factor most limiting their ability to increase production or activity. This is at 30 year highs, and compares with only 8% in 2001 and 2% in 1999.

“Industry and Government are working together to build our future. We will begin working on a new Industry Training Strategy on October 14 when Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) meet with Minister Maharey and officials to start discussing our skilled future.

“Bringing on an extra 1,000 Modern Apprentices, and funding 5,000 industry trainees as we move towards our target of 250,000 trainees by 2007 is a significant commitment ”, said Pieter Burghout.

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