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Improvements to Tertiary Performance Welcomed

27 July 2006

(No embargo)

Engineers Welcome Improvements to Tertiary Performance

The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) welcomes the new approach to improve tertiary performance announced by Hon Dr Michael Cullen at the Industry Training Federation Annual conference this morning in Wellington.

IPENZ CEO Dr Andrew Cleland said financial support for highly skilled employment areas such as engineering has in the past been under funded. Dr Cleland says he looks forward to seeing positive changes resulting from the new funding mechanism – distortions from cross-subsidisation are a major problem at present.

“It is important the needs for highly skilled technicians and engineers are catered for and the national role of polytechnics and institutes of technology is recognised as key to achieving this”.

Specialised skills needed in small numbers by key industries must be provided through national co-operation between Industry Training Providers.

“The current demand-led approach has left our engineering industry vulnerable. By recognising the true costs of training and on-going professional development of highly skilled engineer technologists and technicians, this new direction will contribute to the government’s direction in transforming New Zealand into a high wage, high skill and knowledge-based economy”.

As national educational standards setter, IPENZ supports the tertiary sector in technology and engineering by accrediting qualifications to international benchmarked standards.

Dr Cleland says the Tertiary Education Commission must ensure rigorous quality assurance including universities, and must build on the employer-based systems already in place, such as accreditation by professional bodies.

Dr Cleland is concerned there is no ‘double-up’ on processes which already exist.

ENDS

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