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Investing in Skills and Productivity

   Media Statement
   3 December 2008

Investing in Skills and Productivity         
The Industry Training Federation is urging the new Government to pay more attention to industry training in response to the economic downturn.
In its Briefing to the Incoming Government, released today, the Federation says enhanced industry training is essential to help New Zealand through the short term economic downturn and position the country well to meet the long term challenges.
“Even in a period of economic downturn, New Zealand businesses will continue to face challenges in obtaining and retaining the skills they require.  In the longer term, demographic shifts will only increase the difficulty of this challenge,” Federation Executive Director Jeremy Baker said.
“It makes our work of ensuring a good connection between the development of skills and the needs of industry, more critical.  This must sit alongside our focus on ensuring that the skills we train people in are also put to good use in the workforce.
“Industry training is a cost effective way of making workplaces more productive and we are looking to the new Government to support changes that will help maximise the contribution Industry Training.”
Some of the changes sought include:
·     A simpler, more flexible industry skills system
·     More flexible standards and qualifications to meet the needs of industry
·     More say for industry on tertiary spending
“As the Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) says in its latest report: ‘Now is the time to invest further in skills development and industry training to ensure we are ready for when the rest of the world returns to normal business.’,” Mr Baker said.


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