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Skills focus welcome

MEDIA RELEASE - 30 January 2008

Skills focus welcome


Attaining the level of skills the country requires involves much more than training.

Industry Training Federation executive director Jeremy Baker said signs that skills will be a focus of this year's election campaign is good news but it is important for politicians to look beyond training to skills utilisation.

'It is clear that 'skills' is going to be a major feature of this year's election campaign. The ITF will be following the debate closely to ensure that it is not used as a solution to perceived youth problems or a way to occupy kids who don't get on at school,' Mr Baker said.

'Providing industry with the skills needed, requires much more than training. It requires working closely with industry so that the training is relevant and, more importantly, it is then put to good use.

'In that regard, we support the Unified Skills Strategy and look forward to working with government, Business New Zealand and the CTU to focus on a long term solution to increasing the country's productivity through better skills.

'In the meantime, the ongoing skills shortages means demand for industry training continues to significantly outstrip available places. During this year's election campaign we will be seeking a commitment from all political parties for meaningful increases in funding to support this need,' Mr Baker said.

The Industry Training Federation is a membership organisation representing all of New Zealand's 40 Industry Training Organisations.


ENDS

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