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Labour On Industry Training

A skilled workforce is one of the drivers of growth and innovation. Skills lift productivity, and they lift the competitiveness of our enterprises and our industries.

Skills, together with knowledge, information and creativity, are becoming the main drivers of a country’s competitive advantage. These attributes also make a significant contribution to social development. Workplace learning in particular provides a financial return on the investment, and provides the kinds of personal rewards that grow self-esteem and independence.

If New Zealand is to actively participate in the knowledge economy and society, then our people must be able to enhance their skills throughout their lifetime. Employers will need an increasingly flexible workforce to deal with the ever-changing environment in which they operate.

New Zealand must become a nation that values and encourages innovation, recognises and capitalises on our unique qualities and strengths, and competes confidently and successfully in the global marketplace.

Strengthening learning in the New Zealand workplace is critical for achieving this.

In its first term the Labour led government has:
 Increased the funding available through the Industry Training Fund by over 50%. There are now more people participating in industry training than at any time in our history.
 Brought back apprenticeships, creating work-based learning opportunities for nearly 3000 young people, making it easier than ever before for employers to take on apprentices, and ensuring that industry and enterprise have the skills required to grow the economy.
 Reviewed the industry training system and introduced a number of changes to ensure Industry Training Organisations are better placed to anticipate, and respond to, emerging skill needs in industry.
 Introduced legislation to amend the Industry Training Act to provide for a balloted levy mechanism that will allow industry to contribute to the cost of maintaining an effective Industry Training Organisation.
 Introduced the Gateway programme, designed to build pathways for senior secondary school students into work-based learning, and to encourage better partnerships between schools and local businesses.
 Given industry training the status of an equal partner along with the other education and training pathways in the tertiary system.
 Entered into agreements with the social partners – through Business New Zealand and the NZ Council of Trade Unions – to work jointly and cooperatively to lift participation and performance in workplace and life-long learning.

Labour’s goal is to significantly lift access to, and the quality and relevance of industry training, whether that training occurs in the workplace, or through off-job learning.

Labour will:
 Set the goal of having 250,000 people participating in industry training by 2007.
 Work with employers, unions, employees, Industry Training Organisations and training providers to significantly increase not only participation in industry training, but also the quality and relevance of that training.
 Work with the social partners to lift participation in training by employers and employees in small to medium sized enterprises.


Labour will build on the success of Modern Apprenticeships as a prestige pathway for young men and women into high quality, mentored work based learning.

Labour will:
 Double the number participating in Modern Apprenticeships to 6000 by the end of December 2003.
 Increase the number of Modern Apprentices to 7,500 by June 2006.


Gateway is providing opportunities for senior secondary school students to include unit standard based learning in the workplace as part of their normal course work, bridging school and post school education and training, and building pathways to Modern Apprenticeships.

Labour will:
 Expand Gateway to all decile 1-5 state high schools by 2007. This will give Gateway opportunities for some 12,000 senior secondary school students.


Labour recognizes the importance of building pathways for young Mäori from school to workplace learning and into employment opportunities like Modern Apprenticeships.
Labour will:
 Encourage more Mäori to participate in trade training initiatives with the objective of having 300 more Mäori trainees a year.

Labour believes that all young people under the age of 19 should be either participating in education or training, or in employment.

Labour will:
 Commit to the goal of ensuring that by 2007 all 15 to 19 year olds will be engaged in appropriate education, training, work, or other options which will lead to long-term economic independence and well-being

This goal will be met by putting in place a range of education and training pathways, and by ensuring that the social assistance system balances the need for income support, where appropriate, with the opportunity to participate in education, training, or a job.

Labour will:
 Fully implement an Education and Training Leaving Age strategy by 2007.

This will involve:
 The expansion of Gateway to all decile 1-5 state high schools by 2007. This will provide Gateway opportunities for some 12,000 senior secondary school students.
 Purchasing post training support services for all Youth Trainees by 2007. This will mean some 13,000 youth trainees will receive some post training support per year.
 Expanding Modern Apprenticeships to 7,500 by June 2006. This will mean some 4,500 young people aged 15-18 will be Modern Apprentices.
 Encouraging more Mäori participation in trade training initiatives with the objective of having an additional 300 Mäori trainees a year..

This represents a spread of interventions suitable for different achievement levels.

The development of a vibrant and supportive culture of industry training within the workplace and by education and training providers depends, in large part, on a supportive partnership with government.

Labour is committed to working with stakeholders - business, unions, employees, Industry Training Organisations, and education and training providers - to ensure that industry training is properly resourced, that programmes are of the highest quality and relevance, and that opportunities are created to ensure access on the part of the present and the future workforce to vocational education and training.

Labour is committed to working in partnership with industry training stakeholders to ensure that vocational education and training policies are underpinned by robust and sustainable research.

Labour will:
 Initiate discussions with industry training stakeholders about the resourcing and establishment of a National Centre for Vocational Education and Training Research tasked with undertaking applied research, particularly evaluation research, and working with stakeholders on policy development, implementation, and evaluation.

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