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Tripartite initiative on workplace learning

Tripartite initiative on workplace learning

Associate Minister for Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey today announced an agreement between the government, Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions to promote workplace learning and industry training.

Speaking at Format Print in Petone, the Minister formally launched the skill new zealand campaign, a tripartite initiative that will see $800,000 and more invested over the next four years to help raise awareness of how to increase skills levels in New Zealand and promote the relevance of learning.

“If we are to compete successfully in the global economy, and improve New Zealanders’ quality of living, we must redress our skills shortages. Our aim is 250,000 New Zealanders learning on the job by 2007 and a shared commitment between government, industry and the unions will ensure we achieve that.”

Business New Zealand Chief Executive, Simon Carlaw said skills shortages have been identified by employers as a major barrier to growth.

“The key to this project is that it is driven by the needs of employers and workers in business and industry. It recognises that to a considerable extent, skills issues have to be addressed where they occur – in the workplace,” Mr Carlaw said.

“Workplace learning is an essential and critical component of our tertiary education system, and this project will strengthen that.”

Carol Beaumont, Council of Trade Unions Secretary, said there are significant benefits for workers from industry training leading to qualifications.

“However, workers need to be aware of the opportunities and we all need to work together to remove barriers to participation in training in order to ensure that more and more workers can build their skill levels.”

Tertiary Education Commissioner, Andrew Little, is confident the campaign, which was initially announced as part of the Budget this year, will promote lifelong learning and improve the relevance of learning for both learners and enterprises.

“The government recognises the NZ Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand as key partners in its work to raise the skill levels of the population and improve the relevance of learning for learners and enterprises,” Mr Little said.

“The skill new zealand campaign will build greater awareness of high quality, relevant and accessible lifelong learning. We hope that when people see those words – skill new zealand – they will see it as an imperative.”

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