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Steve Maharey Remarks To MITO Industry Forum

Hon Steve Maharey Speech Notes

Opening Remarks To Motor Industry Training Organisation Industry Forum

MITO Boardroom, Wellington.


Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today and to make an opening presentation to kick-off this forum.

I must say that the agenda for today is an impressive one, and I see that you have some very impressive individuals engaging with you. I congratulate Janet Lane and her team at the MITO office for the quality of the programme that has been put together.

I want to spend a few minutes making some introductory remarks, I then want to make an announcement about your involvement with the Modern Apprenticeships initiative, and I then want to give you the opportunity to pose some questions to me, and/or to each other.

The Industry Training Strategy

I could spend a great deal of time talking about the industry training strategy, but let me instead make three remarks:

The first is that we do now have an industry training strategy, and that we are seeing in very real terms the results of that strategy on the ground.

The second point I want to make is that this Government stands ready to support the strategy by ensuring that it is properly funded, and by ensuring that it is underpinned by the right kind of policy and institutional mix.

The Industry Training Fund has increased by $8 million to $78 million this financial year and will increase a further $16 million in 2002/2003. This will enable more New Zealanders than ever before to participate in formal structured workplace training. During 2000, more than 81,000 people participated in training purchased through the Industry Training Fund. In 2001 this industry received $4.194 million by way of Government subsidies to assist with industry training.

A New Technology Fund of a $1 million dollars has been established through the Industry Training Fund to increase employees’ access to industry training through the use of new technology such as computer based training.

Government decisions arising out of a comprehensive review of Industry Training will lift the volumes, quality and responsiveness of industry training, and encourage higher rates of completion. Industry Training Organisations will be required to take a leadership role in identifying, and responding to, training needs.

And the decision to create a Tertiary Education Commission, - which will come into existence in a formal sense from 1 July this year, but as your next speaker demonstrates is already a significant actor in its transitional form - is a very concrete expression of the Government’s desire to see an integrated post compulsory education and training sector, and to see all elements of that sector treated as being of equal status.

And we have made significant progress already with the development and publication of a draft Tertiary Education Strategy. I would value any comments that any of you might want to make about the draft strategy.

And the third point I want to make is that the Government has moved to introduce new programmes and initiatives that provide meaningful vocational education and training options for industry and employers, and significantly more pathways for trainees.

Modern Apprenticeships is a case in point – and I want to say more about that in a moment.

But let me now turn to the performance of this ITO.

MITO Performance

You have done well.

2000 was a year of consolidation for the ITO following a very difficult period.

2001 saw a solid increase in trainee numbers, and trainee achievement as measured by the Performance Measurement system shows significant improvement from 2000 to 2001. This is particularly the case for credit achievement suggesting that National Certificate completions will increase greatly in future years.

On balance the ITO has significantly improved its performance, and this can largely be attributed to the leadership and direction provided by the Board and your senior management.

Now let me comment on your involvement with Modern Apprenticeships.

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships in the motor industry have been extremely popular since their introduction in July 2001. As at December 2001, there were 123 Modern Apprentices in the industry. MITO is also a Modern Apprenticeship Co-ordinator and reported 55 Modern Apprentices as at December last year. Co-ordinators have predicted over 380 Modern Apprentices by 30 June this year.

It is also noteworthy that with the introduction of Modern Apprenticeships there has been an increase in the participation by women and Maori in relation to overall motor industry trainee numbers.

And now to the announcement:

I understand that MITO has sought approval for the inclusion of a National Certificate in Motorcycle Engineering for Modern Apprenticeships.

I am delighted to convey to you today that Skill New Zealand has approved the inclusion of this National Certificate, and I understand that a formal letter to you from Skill New Zealand will confirm this decision.


In conclusion let me wish you well for this forum today, and thank you again for your contribution to the governance of the ITO and the stewardship of vocational education and training on behalf of what is a very significant industry in this country.

The Government stands ready to work with you going forward.

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