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Council Welcomes Cullen's Reform of Tertiary Ed

PRESS RELEASE

04 April 2006

NZ Screen Council Welcomes Cullen’s Reform of Tertiary Education

The NZ Screen Council welcomes Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen’s move to clamp down on low-grade courses which offer little or no benefit to New Zealand’s economic and social development.

Over the past year the Screen Council has been working on its own solution to this particular problem for the screen production section. The Screen Council's ScreenMark – a Qualmark-type certification scheme - has been developed to provide an industry stamp of approval for high quality practical tertiary level training in the screen production sector. To date sixteen training providers have indicated an interest in applying for ScreenMark.

“Training providers have been churning out more than 1,000 graduates a year, and given the size of New Zealand’s screen production sector - approx 5-7,000 – there are graduates who will never get work in the industry,” said Screen Council executive director Tim Thorpe. “We have also found that there are graduates without the relevant skills for the industry. A course qualifying for ScreenMark will provide relevant skills and help students make informed decisions about their futures in the sector”.

The Screen Council has been working with the Tertiary Education Commission, NZ Qualifications Authority and training providers on ScreenMark. “We would hope to have input into what the government has just announced,” noted Thorpe. “It is important for government to not just be talking to the education sector about what it proposes but also the industry sectors that will be affected by the changes.”

The first ScreenMarks are anticipated to be awarded within the next 3-4 months.

ENDS

The New Zealand Screen Council is the film and television production industry organisation tasked with facilitating economic growth in the New Zealand screen production sector. www.nzscreencouncil.co.nz

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