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Maharey - extra funds for industry training

Maharey announces extra funds for industry training

The Government is to provide a one-off cash boost to the Industry Training Fund administered by Skill New Zealand to meet a strong increase in demand for industry training places, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Mr Maharey made the announcement at a top apprentices awards function organised by the Printing and Allied Industries Training Council in Wellington this afternoon. $60.0m had been provided for training subsidies for the 1999/2000 financial year, but this has been heavily oversubscribed due to a sharp increase in industry training activity in the second half of 1999.

Mr Maharey said he had agreed to a fiscally-neutral transfer from lower priority areas of the Education budget to ensure that Industry Training Organisations would be compensated for the additional training they will be providing.

"Quality industry training is critical if we are to meet the needs of a growing, open and dynamic economy. This Government is committed to doing all that we can to encourage the development of a positive training culture.

"Skill New Zealand are anticipating over-expenditure of up to $2.5 million. The measure I am announcing today will enable Industry Training Organisations to be properly recompensed for the training they provide this financial year.

"The decision to provide additional funding for industry training is a direct response to the unexpected nature of the pick up in industry training numbers and should not be seen as a precedent.

"Nevertheless this Government has made a strong commitment to boosting the skills of New Zealanders and I am pleased to have been able to respond to the good job ITOs have done attracting people into industry training," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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