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NCEA Irrelevant Say Employers

16 February 2005

NCEA Irrelevant Say Employers

Many employers find the current NCEA qualifications confusing and irrelevant, according to a leading New Zealand-owned employment agency.

The employers have joined a chorus of criticism levelled at the qualifications system, as new school leavers enter the workforce with their NCEA qualifications.

Tradestaff managing director Kevin Eder says his company, one of the largest in the country which specialises in employment in the trades sector, has received hundreds of calls over the last six months from employers struggling with the new qualifications system.

“Employers are having real difficulty understanding the relevance of NCEA qualifications and seeing how they relate to the skills required in the workplace.”

“In particular, they are criticising the lack of any measure of performance and any consistent comparison they can make against other candidates,” says Kevin Eder.

Kevin Eder says the message his company is getting from employers around the country is that the system has been ‘jumped in to’ without enough consideration of the implications for the workforce.

“”The NCEA system just doesn’t prepare students for the realities of working life.”

“It doesn’t create an environment where that supports the pursuit of excellence, rather it encourages a culture of mediocrity,” says Kevin Eder.

Mr Eder says employers see the current system as a failure; one that needs to be addressed immediately before it does serious long-term damage to the country’s workforce and economy.

“We believe that any inquiry into the NCEA qualifications should include not only representatives from the education sector, but employers and business groups as well.”


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