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Additional funding for Polytechnics for growth

Additional funding for Polytechnics to support regional growth

More Polytechnics have lines up to address their region’s skill shortages and will receive support from the Labour Progressive Coalition Government through the Polytechnic Regional Development Fund.

Regional and Industry Development Minister, Jim Anderton and Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey today announced the results of the second round of funding under the Polytechnic Regional Development Fund.

“I am pleased to see seven more polytechnics and institutes of technology will be working more actively to address local skill and development priorities working with local industries and businesses. A key factor in today’s announcements is that some of the funding will contribute to key nationwide priority industries including biotechnology, information and computer technology, and wood processing,” said Jim Anderton.

Tairawhiti Polytechnic, the Western Institute of Technology, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, WELTEC, Otago Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, will all receive funding which together amounts to $1,068,000. This is in addition to nine proposals totalling $1,304,189 approved for the 2002/2003 year under the fund in 2002.

“This commitment by polytechnics and institutes of technology shows that they are key drivers for regional growth and have a vital role in regional economic development,” said Steve Maharey.

The Coalition Government provided $1 million in 2002/2003 and $2 million in both 2003/04 and 2004/05 for this programme. The maximum grant for any one application is $300,000 (GST inclusive). Industry New Zealand administers the fund and oversee a two-step process for allocating the grants.

Applications were analysed by Industry New Zealand’s Regional Offices in conjunction with TEC and the Ministry of Education’s Tertiary Advisory Monitoring Unit.

All applications were considered by the Regional Partnerships Programme Assessment Panel which is chaired by Industry New Zealand and includes representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Skill NZ, and two independent members.

The next funding round is in November 2003.

REGIONAL POLYTECHNIC DEVELOPMENT FUND APPROVALS IN THIS ROUND:

Tairawhiti Polytechnic - $81,500 to explore ways of meeting education/training needs for primary production with emphasis on organics.

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki - $300,000 to create a Centre of Applied Engineering that is nationally and internationally recognised as a leader in its field.

Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Porirua) - $ 78,500 to support the ICT industry in Wellington region and assist ICT graduates find relevant employment or create new businesses.

Wellington Institute of Technology (WELTEC) $152,000 to conduct an analysis of the skills needed by companies in the creative/specialist manufacturing sector so that current employers can build on advanced design and manufacturing technologies and business processes.

Otago Polytechnic - $90,000 to undertake an extensive skills audit of current and future education, training and information needs of Central Otago industries, in particular viticulture, winemaking, horticulture, tourism & hospitality. Develop and/or modify Polytechnic courses to bridge the identified skills gaps, and provide an education resource centre.

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic – Wood Processing Strategy - Road Transport Project: - The wood processing industry has identified a shortage of truck drivers. The grant of $114,200 seeks to help address the shortage in the Central North Island and Eastern Bay of Plenty by investigating developing training programmes for transport managers and new entrant truck drivers. The programmes will enhance the ability of the regional transport industry to recruit, train and retain quality staff. Bay of Plenty Polytechnic – Aquaculture and Marine Research – $115,000 to set up a Pacific Coast Research Centre. The centre will analyse and evaluate marine, fisheries and aquaculture activities.

Waikato Institute of Technology – ICT Sector - E-Commerce Centre project - $137,400 to establish an e-commerce centre in Te Kuiti that will assist local business to make the most use of e-commerce.

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