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Polytechnics gearing up to catch the Skill Wave

16 October 2001 Media Statement

Polytechnics gearing up to catch the Skill Wave

Polytechnics have the task of ensuring New Zealanders have the skills they need to prosper in the 21st century, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said this evening.

Speaking at an event to launch the Skilling the Nation conference Steve Maharey said that polytechnics are vital to the drive to create a knowledge nation.

“Polytechnics are at the centre of partnerships between business, regional economies and iwi needed to ensure New Zealanders have the skills industry needs to create a value-added economy.”

Steve Maharey said the polytechnic sector had suffered during the 1990s and many institutions were now financially stressed.

“The Government will be spending around $50 million this year to address the problems created during the 1990s that are now holding polytechnics back. Polytechnics also stand to gain a further $10m from the newly-announced Tertiary Education Strategic Change Fund.

“The way forward is clear.

“We are asking polytechnics to get strategic, focused and to identify the kind of tertiary education needed for a knowledge-based economy.

“This will require changes in governance, management, learning styles and the type of education offered. It is a tall order but I know our polytechnics can do the job,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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