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Printing and Allied industries Awards Speech

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development
16 May 2003 Speech notes

Printing and Allied industries Apprenticeship Awards

8:30 am
Present awards at the Printing and Allied Industries Training Council apprenticeship award
Friday, 16 May 2003
Victorian Room, Copthorne Central Hotel, 776 Colombo St, Christchurch

- Chief Executive Joan Grace
- Chairman Alan Scott
- Award winners, and guests

We’re here today to acknowledge and pay tribute to apprentices who have shown a level of skill and performance that makes them stand out from the ordinary.

It’s an achievement that everyone involved can be proud of.

And it’s an achievement that sets an example for the country of the power and potential of industry training.

This is a very appropriate morning to be recognising the importance of industry training.

Only yesterday, the coalition announced a large package of industry training assistance in the budget.

There were many features of the budget that I am proud of, and the commitment to industry training was one of the best.

There are about a hundred Modern Apprentices in the printing industry at the moment.

Not that long ago, apprenticeships were like a dirty word -- most industries had none at all.

We brought them back.

And now we’re spending fourteen million dollars to increase the size of the Modern Apprentices programme from five thousand modern apprentices now, to 7500 in 2006.

Some of the people who need the government’s support the most are those who are leaving school.

Many leave without being adequately prepared for the workplace.

Many fall between the cracks after they leave – somewhere between 25-thousand and 45-thousand school-leavers at any one time don’t go into any training or any job.

We’re spending more than $23 million expanding a programme that allows students to incorporate some workplace learning in their school studies.

So it smoothes the transition from school and into work and it’s going to be in every one of the country’s lowest income schools – the Decile 1-5 secondary schools.

There are many more programmes.

I have a vision of a New Zealand where every young person is in education, training or work.

Low skills and unemployment has been and still is a serious problem for New Zealand which alone has created monumental obstacles preventing us meeting our full potential as a nation.

It’s no wonder some of our young people end up in trouble, or struggling to come to terms with their society.

The human cost, and the cost to our economy, is too high.

At a time when we have a serious skill shortage around New Zealand, we can’t afford the wastage

The industry trainees we are celebrating today here set a very positive example.

You are entering a workforce where there will be a premium on skill.

The printing industry is changing quickly in a high skill direction.

Film-based printing processes have been replaced by processes that seem almost instant.

In the United States one in every twelve jobs sent to a printer today is required within 24 hours.

Within a decade, one expert predicts that almost a third of all jobs will be demanded in that time frame.

The average print run is going to get shorter and shorter as marketers increasingly look to customise products for the consumer.

The technological advances reflect changes in the world we live in.

It’s faster; Consumers demand ever higher standards and we increasingly want solutions tailored to unique individuals.

We shouldn’t be gloomy about the changing world – it brings with it tremendous opportunities.

But we should take care to adapt and to position ourselves to prosper within the new environment.

One printing industry commentator said the printing industry has its best years ahead of it – it is a growth industry.

In twenty years time, people will use more printed materials, not less.

They will still have newspapers delivered to their doors, still read flyers, and still buy books.

But other changes will mean that industry development won’t come from the same places as previously.

Some traditional markets will ebb, while others grow.

The sorts of changes we are seeing should suit New Zealand.

The trend of change is towards smaller and smarter.

Commentators talk about consumers wanting more distinctive, visually compelling communication that is personalised and unique.

Doesn’t that sound like us?

Whether we like it or not, we live in a global economy now.

If we want to ensure high living standards for ourselves into the future we need to meet the demands of increasingly sophisticated consumers and of rapidly changing technology.

Sophisticated businesses require highly skilled people.

That is why industry training is so important; to equip you with the skills to survive and prosper in the new environment.

It’s positive for you individually.

Higher skilled jobs are higher paying jobs.

I am very interested in making sure people earn more.

I want to lift everyone’s prosperity, and to do that we have to lift the overall level of skill in our economy.

If we want to have the living standard of other developed countries, then we need more industries that rely on skills, and on the unique creativity of New Zealanders.

I would love to be taking credit for the success of everyone being recognised today.

But in fact the person who is most responsible for your achievements is…you.

The honours being awarded today recognise the efforts and determination of each successful recipient.

There is credit due, also, to the businesses that have worked with the successful award winners.

Businesses that range from very substantial multinationals as I understand it, to small family owned businesses, and everything in between.

There is credit to the people who have worked with you to provide you with support and advice.

And we should also acknowledge the effort of your industry association and the contribution it has made.

I want to assure you that the government is here to play its part as a partner in the development of the industry.

Thriving industries are good for business people, they are good for working people who depend on those businesses for their incomes and good for those who rely on the taxes those businesses and working people pay – people like Ministers of Industry, Regional and Economic Development – not to mention the Minister of Finance.

The award winners we are here today to acknowledge have only just begun their new careers.

Their skills are like keys opening doors for them – but also for the rest of us.

I would like to congratulate you on your achievements and I look forward to hearing more about you in the future.


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