Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Catching the Knowledge Wave - Maharey Speech

11 December 2001 Hon Steve Maharey Speech Notes

Catching the Knowledge Wave

Comments at the launch of Skill New Zealand-Pukenga Aotearoa publication, Knowledge at Work – Workplace Learning in New Zealand. Beehive Foyer, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

Introduction

I am honoured to have been invited by Max and Adrienne, and the other members of the Skill New Zealand family, to launch this impressive publication.

We have had a number of book-launches here in recent weeks – in keeping with one authored by Brian Edwards, this one too is a ‘portrait’ of a success.

Industry training is an integral part of the government’s vision to make New Zealand a knowledge economy. Critical to this is the provision of accessible education and training opportunities for all New Zealanders.

There was an eleven percent increase in those participating in industry training last year. A total of 81,000 trainees took part, supported by more than 22,000 employers.

I note that at the Business New Zealand ‘Changing Gear’ Conference last week Business New Zealand released details of a ‘Challenge and Scorecard’. Part of the challenge that they have issued is to set a target of having 160,000 people involved in formal industry training by 2005, and to have 40% of wage and salary earners participating in some form of training provided by their employer. I have to tell you that I have always been one for a challenge, and one of the first items of business for Skill NZ next year is going to be a discussion with me on whether we might accept that challenge. I suspect, if Skill New Zealand’s past record is anything to go by, that I will be told to come back with a target with more stretch in it than that set by Business NZ.

One of today’s success stories in industry training is Modern Apprenticeships. This work-based initiative for young people combines the opportunity for competency-based training while in employment with on-going support to the employer and the employee to ensure a successful outcome.

Modern Apprenticeships began in July 2000 as a pilot in a limited number of industries. By 30 September 2001 there were 1,640 modern apprentices in 26 industry sectors with over 3,000 expected by mid 2002.

Another success story is the Gateway programme, which builds the links between schools and businesses and allows schools to offer work-based learning opportunities for their students. To date 722 students from 22 schools have been involved. Strong interest is being shown by employers in providing workplace training for the students with a number of graduates going on to a Modern Apprenticeship with their employers. I am very keen to see this initiative make the transition from a pilot to a fully-fledged programme, and, while I don’t normally signal my objectives for the budget round in advance, this is one that I do intend pursuing.

For many New Zealanders, learning in the workplace will provide a quality pathway to the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential. It can provide an ongoing opportunity to learn new skills and gain national qualifications

This publication highlights the part workplace learning is playing in building a skilled and adaptable workforce. It celebrates the diversity of approaches, the achievement of those participating and the innovation that is occurring in workplaces around the country.

Importance of workplace learning in the tertiary/education mix

International research confirms that training based in the workplace plays an essential role in providing and maintaining employee’s technical skills. The research also shows the rise in skill levels from investment in training leads to higher productivity for the firms involved.

Workplace learning offers a range of benefits to employers and employees including increased efficiency, improved safety and health, improved competence and consistent job performance.

For employers, workplace learning can boost competitiveness and productivity. It offers an opportunity for employers to tailor on and off job training to meet their firms’ needs, and to build the quantity and quality of the skills of their workforce.

Many of those in work have little or no concept of themselves as learners. They may see learning as an institution- based activity only. Workplace learning offers a practical option for these people to build and formalise their skills and to increase their desire to learn. Workplace learning experiences can lead to new learning and career pathways for the people involved.

Work based learning components in pre-employment programmes such as Training Opportunities, Youth Training and Skill Enhancement, play an important role in developing the skills of those seeking work.

Collaborative partnerships

The Industry Training Strategy has seen Government and industry building partnerships to respond to the skill demands prompted by rapid technological change.

New Zealand is characterised by a high proportion of small firms. For these businesses, innovative ways need to be found to overcome the limited resources available to invest in training. Collaborative approaches, such as the pooling of resources, are being tried by enterprises as a way of overcoming skills training challenges.

Business and industry stakeholders and training providers are working together to ensure a range of training approaches and environments are available for enterprises and individual employees. The case studies in this publication give practical examples of how two industries have made the links between work and learning and strengthened their businesses as a result.

Case Studies

The training strategies of two major industries facing rapid technological change, global competition, customer demands for quality and service and skill challenges, are showcased in this publication.

Forest Industries Training and The Electro-Technology Industry Training Organisation have responded to these pressures with a comprehensive range of workplace learning initiatives to upskill their workforce and to attract new recruits.

Both industries have identified the need to “champion learning” if they want to be competitive. Forest Industry Training has set clear skill development goals for the sector based on a range of national qualifications. The ETITO have worked with ‘role model’ companies to develop and endorse new workplace training materials and qualifications in the seven sectors it covers.

The two Industries Training Organisations have ‘learning champions’ in their chief executives, John Blakey and Marilyn Brady. These people are committed to ensuring their industries skill needs are defined and that training opportunities to meet them are provided.

For people working in these two industries, the case studies show the real plus is that the training comes to them. Skills leading to national qualifications can be assessed on- the- job by qualified workplace assessors as the learner is ready.

The trainees’ stories in this publication confirm that knowledge is at work in the workplace.

Conclusion

Let me once again congratulate all those in Skill New Zealand, and all those in the wider industry training family, who have contributed to this publication.

It is the time of the year when we can reflect on what we have achieved. I think that for this group assembled here it should also be a time when we look ahead with anticipation and optimism.

I am looking forward to next year – I am looking forward to Skill New Zealand hosting a very significant conference on the workplace as a place of learning. And I am looking forward to Skill New Zealand bringing its institutional, individual, and collective strengths to the Tertiary Education Commission.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election