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Budget 2003: Vocational education and research

Budget 2003: Vocational education and training research centre proposed

Funding of $50,000 to develop a proposal for a national centre for vocational education and training research is included in the industry training package announced today.

The proposed centre would undertake a sustained research and evaluation programme in to all forms of vocational education and training. Dedicated research would guide future investments and could also greatly assist the expansion of workplace learning to industries and employers that do not currently participate in vocational education and training. The Tertiary Education Commission will undertake a scoping exercise next year which will include seeking the views of stakeholders.

Minister responsible for the Tertiary Education Commission Steve Maharey said vocational education and training has been a major focus for the government since it came to office in 1999.

“Over the last three years new programmes like Modern Apprenticeships and Gateway have been introduced – and we have announced ambitious plans to get a quarter of million New Zealanders into workplace training in 2007.

“This reflects the government’s commitment to strengthen the links between education and the needs of business and to develop new learning pathways so we can ensure all New Zealanders can participate in the knowledge society.

“The proposed national centre for vocational education and research would provide solid information on the benefits and returns from this type of learning to guide future investments. It would also complement advice to the government from the Tertiary Education Commission.

“A strengthened evaluation capacity would also enable existing programmes to be refined to better meet employer and learner needs. Better information would also be very useful to promote workplace to industry sectors and individual employers not currently participating.

“All New Zealand work places also need to become learning places if we are to become a more innovative and prosperous nation,” Steve Maharey said.

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