Industry Training Fed welcomes Tertiary Education Strategy
For immediate release
Federation welcomes Tertiary Education
2 October 2013
The Industry Training Federation welcomes the acknowledgement of vocational education and training in the government’s Tertiary Education Strategy, released today.
“We’re delighted the government gives credit to vocational education for the first time in this strategy,” says ITF Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw. “We’re looking forward to working alongside government during consultation to make sure vocational training and industry training is given enough emphasis in the final strategy.”
“With only 30% of school leavers going on touniversity education, the tertiary education sector must recognise the importance of vocational training in enabling career opportunities for the other 70%.”
Each year, thousands of employees gain skills, knowledge and qualifications across a vast range of industries through vocational training. “Developing the skilled workforce boosts our economy and improves our quality of life. It is heartening to see ‘delivering skills for industry’ as the first listed priority in the draft strategy”
Mark says the tertiary education sector, industry and government have a shared responsibility to ensure vocational training continues to make learning really count. “Employers must drive the demand for skills, and the tertiary education sector must respond quickly to that demand.”
“An interesting observation is that the existing strategy has a priority of ‘increasing the number of young people moving successfully from school into tertiary education’ whereas the new draft strategy refers to ‘getting young people into a career’ which in my mind is much more aspirational,” says Mark.
Another focus area of the TES is the need to lift Maori and Pasifika student performance. “In some industry sectors these groups perform well and are well represented in terms of participation. We should however look at all opportunities to improve engagement and performance”.
Mark says he hopes the high-level tertiary education strategy allows for an inclusive system, where industry has a prominent partnership role. “In order to make the strategy work in practice we need a simple and flexible funding system that meets the needs of employers, along with a clear qualifications framework that meets the needs of the future workforce.”
The Industry Training Federation is a voluntary membership organisation representing all of New Zealand's Industry TrainingOrganisations.