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Knowledge society gains from industry training

Knowledge society gains from industry training investment

The Government announced today that it will commit an additional $85 million over the next four years to strengthen workplace learning through Industry Training Organisations (ITOs). Industry training is a vital component of New Zealand’s innovative knowledge society.

“It is essential that we provide more workplace learning opportunities if we are to have a successful and innovative knowledge society,” said Industry Training Federation Chairperson Marilyn Brady. “Today’s announcement is significant to ensuring we reach the Government’s target of 150,000 people in workplace learning by 2005.”

“The Government’s investment in industry training, in partnership with industry, is a vital component to New Zealand’s economic agenda. However, more investment will be needed to reach the Government’s further target of 250,000 people in workplace learning by 2007, to shift New Zealand to the top half of the OECD. These targets are useful milestones as we reach that goal.”

The Government has announced a tripartite project, called ‘Skill New Zealand’, with Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, to promote workplace learning.

“A promotional campaign is timely. The economic return on investment in training, and the economic and social dividends which result when people are provided with pathways to life-long learning need to be more widely promoted. The ITF will continue to work closely with Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions on joint initiatives,” said Ms Brady.

“A national centre for vocational education and training will significantly increase the capacity of the sector to provide evidence based research,” said Ms Brady. “For the sector to work effectively, research needs to be evident. Despite structured workplace learning being a major focus of government insufficient evaluation of existing programmes has been conducted. Research will add to the capacity of the sector to further contribute to an innovative knowledge society.”

“This increase in funding will enable more enterprises and employees to participate in formal structured workplace learning,” said Ms Brady. “That said we have more work to do to fix policy issues that impede the industry training strategy including a range of funding anomalies and questionable competitive practices. We will continue to work with the Minister and agencies towards positive solutions for New Zealand.”

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