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Tertiary Education Strategy Just the Start

Tertiary Education Strategy Just the Start

5 March 2014

The Industry Training Federation welcomes today’s release of the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy.

“With a clear focus on delivering skills for industry this places industry training organisations at the center of skills development and ensures that New Zealand is well placed for future economic growth” said the Industry Training Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw

“It is encouraging to see vocational education and training taking a much more prominent place in the tertiary education strategy that it has historically. With only 30% of school leavers going on to university education, the tertiary education sector must recognise the importance of vocational training in enabling career opportunities for the other 70%.”

Each year, thousands of employees gain skills, knowledge and qualifications across a vast range of industries through vocational training. “Developing a skilled workforce boosts our economy and improves our quality of life. It is heartening to see ‘delivering skills for industry’ as the first listed priority in the draft strategy”

Mark says the tertiary education sector, industry and Government have a shared responsibility to ensure vocational training continues to make learning really count. “Employers must drive the demand for skills, and the tertiary education sector must respond quickly to that demand.”

Mark warns however that the release of the strategy is just the start of a much wider process. The challenge now for Government and industry alike is to ensure that the mechanisms are in place to show that the strategy can be delivered in an effective and efficient manner. This will require a much for flexible and agile funding model to ensure that tertiary and vocational training institutions are able to react and predict industry skill requirements.

“Tertiary education is now very much driven by the demands of employers rather than just enrolling students with no real consideration for the job or career options ahead.” The success or otherwise of this strategy will be determined by meeting the needs of employers and providing graduates with sustainable careers within New Zealand. This is where the Government’s legacy within tertiary education will ultimately be measured.”

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

ENDS

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