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UNITEC's excellent model for skills training

5 May 2000

UNITEC's Applied Technology Institute provides excellent model for skills training

UNITEC's newly established Applied Technology Institute provided an excellent model for technical and trades-based training, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

Helen Clark today officially opened the Applied Technology Institute at UNITEC, in Auckland.

"I'm proud to have the Applied Technology Institute in my own electorate of Mt Albert. The new institute will make an important contribution to equipping the New Zealand economy with the technical and trades skills it needs to thrive in the twenty-first century.

"Applied Technology offers programmes in Building Technology and Transport Technology. Students may be at the pre-employment phase of their career development, in employment and gaining a relevant qualification, or experienced tradespeople, adding new expertise to their business enterprises.

"Importantly, the links between the Applied Technology Institute and industry are close ones. The Institute is represented on various industry boards and industry skills development and examining bodies.

"This integrated approach is strongly endorsed by the coalition government in framing its overall approach to skills training.

"The threat posed to economic growth by skills shortages has been clearly identified in a number of recent surveys.

"This government is working with UNITEC and others to tackle the skills issue head-on. Our most important initiative to date has been the launch of the Modern Apprenticeships Programme in late March.

"Modern Apprenticeships are a new learning partnership between the government, employers and the community. The scheme shows that the government is serious about delivering on its pre-election commitment to give young New Zealanders better access to high quality workplace learning.

"I congratulate all involved in making the Applied Technology Institute a reality and I wish it every success," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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