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Investing in knowledge and skills for New Zealand

Budget 2002 includes a $277 million package to enable New Zealanders to acquire the knowledge and skills we need to develop as a more innovative nation, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia.

The latest increase builds on increases provided for in the government’s first two budgets and takes the total new investment in skills over the next four years to $703 million.

Significant funding increases are provided within the new integrated funding framework to double the number of Modern Apprentices by December 2003, stabilise tertiary fees for the third year running, introduce a new Maori trade training initiative, expand the Gateway programme and anticipate the increasing demand from business for industry training [all figures over the next four years unless specified].

Steve Maharey said an additional $214.3 million is being invested in the nation’s universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and wananga.

“The 4.5 per cent funding increase is significantly higher than Treasury’s 2.1 per cent inflation estimate for the year ending December 2003. It will be available to those providers who agree to hold their fees again next year. Tertiary providers will have some flexibility to correct anomalies in their fees scale.

“The funding arrangements for private training establishments (PTEs) within the Student Component of the Integrated Funding Framework will differ in two respects:
- a 9.5 per cent reduction in rates, representing the estimated share of funding directed to capital expenditure; and
- PTE roll growth will be capped and a mechanism established to support priority programmes that otherwise would not be funded.

“Modern Apprenticeships is providing a new prestige training opportunity for young people to access relevant, high quality work-based education. Funding worth $41 million will enable the Modern Apprenticeships programme to more than double from 2,500 to 6,000 apprentices by December 2003 – taking total four-year investment the government has made in this programme in its three budgets to $92.5 million,” Steve Maharey said.

Parekura Horomia said the government is also introducing a pilot Maori Trade Training programme that will assist young Maori to make the transition from school to programmes like Modern Apprenticeships.

“Maori know about the benefits of Maori Trade Training. The new pilot will draw on the strengths of the programme as it previously operated and update it to meet the challenges young Maori face today when making the transition from school. Two regions – Northland and the Bay of Plenty – will participate in the pilot using $900,000 of funding from within existing baselines,” Parekura Horomia said.

Steve Maharey said new funding of $7.2 million will be invested to expand the successful Gateway programme which gives senior secondary students work place experience and the chance to acquire qualifications. This will take total investment in Gateway to $15.2 million over the next four year.

“The government is also increasing the Industry Training Fund by $14 million over the next four years. The effect of this will be to take the level of government support from $60 million to over $90 million a year since 1999 – an increase of more than 50 per cent in the government’s term.

“Continuing the expansion of industry training contributes significantly to the development of a knowledge society and helps to entrench a training culture within New Zealand businesses,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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