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Labour promotes modern apprenticeships

Labour
2000 web sitePlans for a Modern Apprenticeship Programme (MAP) were unveiled by Labour today as part of its industry training policy released at a Wellington factory.

Labour employment and associate education spokesperson Steve Maharey said the proposal was a key part of Labour's drive to build the most skilled workforce in the world.

"Labour wants to build a knowledge based economy and Modern Apprenticeships are essential part of the plan.

"Mentored, work-based training leading to a national qualification is what will ensure that New Zealanders can produce value added goods, earn higher incomes and support the kind of quality economy Labour is committed to building.

"The current situation is not what we need. In 1992 National abolished apprenticeships and left training to the market. Some good things have happened. However, while there appear to be more people in training, this is often fragmented, partial and inadequate to the needs of a knowledge based economy.

"Through MAP Labour wants to see many more thousands of young and mature New Zealanders signing training agreements that will see them get them a competency based national qualification.

"We will be asking Skill New Zealand to oversee a dramatic increase in the number of training contracts that offer apprenticeship training. This will mean that Industry Training Organisations receiving funding from Skill NZ will be required to ensure many more people in training are working towards a full national qualification.

"We will also be aiming to ensure that taking on an apprentice is a practical option for the many small to medium sized businesses that characterise the New Zealand economy.

"In the past the state trained a very large number of apprentices. Labour will ensure that state agencies, including the defence force, plays their part in the drive to lift skills. However, in today's economy private sector employers need to be encouraged to train more people.

"Labour will be providing an incentive to encourage employers to take on additional apprentices. We will be ensuring that everything possible is done to provide support for the apprentice is this can not be supplied by the employer.

"For example, it will be possible for the apprentice to be employed by a group training company which will fulfil all of the obligations of an employer. The business will then just have to supply the work and pay wages.

"Labour will also be maintaining the qualifications framework and unit standards which are central to the kind of flexible arrangements needed for a modern system of industry based training," Steve Maharey said.

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