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BSCNZ welcomes Budget funding to boost literacy

Building Service Contractors of New Zealand Inc

Media Release – for Immediate Release
May 22 2008

BSCNZ welcomes Budget funding to boost workforce literacy, language and numeracy skills

Boosting workforce education is a positive step towards helping to resolve New Zealand’s skills shortages, say cleaning industry leaders.

Brian Young, president of the Building Services Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ), welcomed the budget announcement of $168 million in new funds to provide workers with the right skills for the complexities of the modern workplace.

He said the increased funding would be of particular benefit to industries employing high numbers of migrant workers, including the commercial cleaning sector. The funding will be used to implement the Skills Strategy, a partnership between Government, Business New Zealand, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and the Industry Training Federation.

“Upgrading literacy, language and numeracy skills among the workforce will improve morale and confidence among workers and encourage career progression. That is a proven way of improving staff retention.

“The BSCNZ has already introduced literacy training for supervisors, with very good results, and welcomes the Government’s recognition of the importance of supporting widespread skills upgrading across the New Zealand workforce.

“However, for industry to reap the full benefits of the opportunities offered, employers will need to be proactive about encouraging their staff to take part.”

BSCNZ Industry Training Organisation introduced innovative literacy training courses for supervisors after commissioning research that revealed many struggled to read important information such as health and safety policies.

Results have included dramatically improved self confidence among workers, reduced client complaints due to better on-site communication and ability to complete paperwork in a clear and legible manner.

The funding, allocated as part of the Government’s Unified Skills Strategy, will provided programmes through established community-based Non Government Organisations.


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