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National confused on industry training

National confused on industry training

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey is correcting mistaken assumptions made by National MP Simon Power about the $85m industry package announced by the government today.

“Simon Power seems to think that industry training is simply an adult literacy and numeracy programme, this far from the case.

“In fact systematic work-based training is currently building a wide of range of skills for over 100,000 workers across the economy. Examples include: call centre workers whose national certificate includes unit standards in computing, customer service and time and stress management; electricians who need to learn about the relevant legislation and codes of practice, first aid techniques, as well as how to wire in plugs and light fittings; and very topically at the moment, builders, who in addition to learning about how to use new construction materials properly, also need to learn other skills like managing the bidding process and developing health and safety and quality assurance plans

“The announcements the government has made today will boost trainee numbers to 150,000 during 2005 – well on the way to our 2007 target of a quarter of a million Kiwis involved in workplace learning.

“Adult literarcy and numeracy support will be provided as part of this training when necessary, but to characterise industry training as second chance education as Simon Power has done is to seriously under value it. Industry training is a prestige training pathway that makes an equally important contribution to building the knowledge economy as any university or polytechnic course.

“The ‘Skill New Zealand’ campaign also announced today is strongly supported by, and is an active partnership with, both Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions – so I’m surprised Simon Power has chosen to knock it.

“I suggest he talks with employers because I know they will tell him how they value the support government provides to upskill their workers and grow their businesses,” Steve Maharey said.

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