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Skills training investment should not be capped

28 September 2004

Skills training investment should not be capped

The Government's additional spend-up on skills training and workplace learning is welcome, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Simon Carlaw said the funding for another thousand modern apprenticeships and for more industry training is more than justified by skills shortages across the economy.

"The problem is that this funding will help tackle tomorrow's skills shortages, not today's. Nor will the problem go away while the funding mechanisms for tertiary learning influence outcomes more significantly than the funds actually allocated.

"There is complete agreement between employers and the Government that workplace skills and literacy and numeracy should be a priority. But funding for this remains ad hoc and capped while entry to universities and polytechnics is wide open and demand driven.

"Today's announcement is another symptom of the shortcomings of the drip-feed approach to tertiary funding. We urge the Government to act boldly to put all tertiary funding entitlements on a common basis in a way that would maximise learning outcomes, not just bums on seats."

ENDS

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