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Extra funding welcome - 250,000 target needs work

28 May 2004

Extra funding welcome but 250,000 target needs more work

“The ITF welcomes the extra government investment of $25 million over four years in industry training for skilled career development”, said Pieter Burghout Chairperson of the Industry Training Federation, “recognising the important contribution industry training makes to the tertiary sector and to the broader economy.

“However, there remains an apparent funding gap to achieve the government’s published target of 250,000 people in industry training in 2007 – the target is double where we are now, but the level of funding available in 2007 isn’t. Industry Training Organisations need to know where they stand on future funding levels so they can deliver on industry expectations and gear up to meet the government’s training targets.

“The Minister has indicated that he is keen to work on securing the growth path for industry training, and the ITF looks forward to working with him and his officials on clarifying that growth path in time for the 2005 budget.

“We also need to further the discussion about the role of ITOs to make sure funding rates match role expectations. There are increasing expectations of ITOs from both the government and industry in such areas as skills leadership, engagement with small enterprises, and engagement with schools. The announced STM funding rate of $3,200, while benefiting most ITOs, will still see a number of ITOs with decreases in funding – and so more work needs to be done by officials to get the STM rate right.

“It is good to see that, following a Ministry of Education paper, the question of competitive pressures between ITOs and training providers raised by the ITF since 2000 is getting policy priority. A working group will be established and the Tertiary Education Commission will do an in-depth analysis of the issues.

“The further collaboration the government desires between ITOs and providers will be bolstered as roles are better clarified and funding relativities are addressed.

ENDS

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