28 July 2005
Industry Training Plan Builds Skill Base, Stronger Economy
Labour’s election pledge to create thousands more Modern Apprenticeship places would help to build a strong skill base that would lead to improved wages and opportunities and a stronger economy, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
The Prime Minister said Labour would create 5,000 more places, taking the total number to 14,000 by 2008.
The policy maintained the momentum that the Government had built up in doubling industry training and funding over the past five years, Ross Wilson said.
“Industry training fell apart in the 1990s when it was left to employers. They failed to invest in and train the workforce they needed,” Ross Wilson said. “And the legacy of critical skill shortages, low pay and low levels of productivity is still with us.”
Unions are please to see Modern Apprenticeship places opened up to workers over 21 years of age, and that more work will be done to increase training for those already in paid employment.
“Our people are our greatest resource and investing in them will underpin a strong economy that can survive and compete in the global market.
“Unions will continue to play a major role in supporting industry training and will work with business and the Government to increase the number of trainees and employers involved,” Ross Wilson said.