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Links between tertiary institutions and business

13 June 2000 Media Statement

Closer links between tertiary institutions and business promised

The Government plans to foster closer links between the tertiary sector and the business community, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey signalled today.

Steve Maharey spoke to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce this evening about the relationship between business and tertiary education. The Government sees public investment in tertiary education and research as one of the most powerful tools available to promote social and economic development. Mr Maharey said the Government would foster close links between industry and tertiary institutions as it sought to reshape the sector to meet the needs of the new economy.

"Getting our tertiary sector better aligned with the skills of industry is a key task for the Government.

"I have established a Tertiary Education Advisory Commission to give me advice on reshaping the tertiary sector. We want to build a nation-wide system of tertiary education within which each institution will work out its particular subject specialities and will promote its distinctive contribution.

"As part of their charter obligations institutions will be required to consult with industry to ensure that their research and course offerings meet local needs and are of good quality.

"A range of other initiatives are being taken by the Government to boost skill levels and improve the quality of education and training. These include:
 our new Modern Apprenticeships programme which provides work-based mentored training;
 significant additional investment in tertiary education to cut the cost of getting an education and to improve access;
 the forthcoming review of the Industry Training Act to promote partnerships and continuous upskilling of the workforce; and
 increased support for careers advice in schools so that students can make good study decisions," Steve Maharey said.


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