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Support to meet training needs of emerging indust.

7 November 2003 Media Statement

New support to meet training needs of emerging industries

New funding is being made available to ensure the training needs of the biotechnology, information and communications technology (ICT) and design industries are being effectively met by tertiary education organisations.

The three emerging industries were identified as priority sectors in the government’s Growth and Innovation Framework. Industry-led taskforces for each sector have since identified a common need for better linkages with tertiary education organisations to ensure that qualifications respond to industry needs and sufficient numbers of graduates are trained.

Speaking at the Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand conference in Masterton this morning, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey announced further details of new funding being invested by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for partnership projects between biotechnology, ICT and design enterprises and tertiary education organisations.

“The purpose of the reforms is to get a much closer connection between teaching and research by tertiary education organisations and the knowledge and skills needs of New Zealand industry and society. The Growth and Innovation Framework Taskforces have identified a real need to improve the contribution education is currently making to the development of emerging industries.

“Funding of $21.55 million over four years has been set aside for two tertiary education pilot initiatives responding to the taskforce reports. Approximately $11 million of that funding is expected to be invested in projects to identify and meet the future skills and talent needs of the biotechnology, ICT and design industries.

“The TEC will be talking to tertiary education organisations and the taskforces about the best way make use of the funding. They intend floating two models of application for discussion:
- Learning Consortia: which would bring together a number of companies across a particular sector with appropriate tertiary education organisations to identify common future skill needs, and
- Enterprise Outreach: which would incentivise tertiary education organisations to connect with sector companies and develop appropriate educational delivery approaches.

“Education and training programmes developed as a result of the improved dialogue with industry would then be eligible for funding.

“Applications for the fund will be called for in the first half of next year,” Steve Maharey said.

Further details about the knowledge transfer pilot initiative also established in response to the Growth and Innovation Framework Taskforce reports will be announced shortly.

ENDS

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