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Budget Statement re Education

Media release 23 May 2002

Budget Statement re Education

Business NZ supports the Government's focus on expenditure in post-compulsory education and training in today's Budget.

Executive Director Anne Knowles says it's pleasing the Government has made significant commitments to industry training, better school-to-work links and improved adult literacy.

"These areas are crucial to lifting the skills of our current workforce, and thus our nation's productivity and well-being," Ms Knowles said.

"Placing industry training funding on the same footing as the rest of tertiary funding is a crucial shift, as is the doubling of the number of apprenticeships. Equally significant is the focus on performance-based research, and linking such research to application in the private sector.

"However, Business NZ has serious concerns with reductions in funding for private provision of post-compulsory education. The Government will need to ensure that in promoting public institutions, it does not damage the excellent work that many in the private sector are doing to improve skill levels among the existing workforce, and in particular meeting the needs of Maori and Pacific people.

"Business NZ, two days ago, entered into a partnership with the Government and the CTU to promote workplace learning. It is clear that growing the
skills of the nation is essential to our economic and social prosperity."

Contact: Anne Knowles 021 425868 or for more information Kathryn Asare 021 555744

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