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Anderton Speech: ATNZ Apprentice Training

Jim Anderton Speech: ATNZ Apprentice Training Canterbury, Presentation of Certificates

First Floor TUC Building, 199 Armagh St

6.00PM Tuesday, 25 November 2003.


Doug Budge – MC, Regional Liaison Manager EITO John Broadhead – Competenz/ATNZ CEO Bruce Howat – ATNZ National Manager Rodger Wyatt – Local Chairman Ken Culverwell – ATNZ Local Committee Students and guests

I have a special regard for engineering and related manufacturing. Before I entered parliament I started a manufacturing business.

[Anderton Holdings Toaster grill story].

I would like to congratulate everyone receiving a certificate today. You are setting out on new careers. Your new skills will open doors for you.

Not that long ago, apprenticeships were almost a dirty word. There were almost none offered in any industry. The coalition government brought them back. We set out with a target of six thousand Modern Apprentices by the end of 2003. That target was reached three months early. The government has lifted the target even further. We know hope to have 7,500 trainees during 2006.

Modern Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for the young people who learn through them. They are also working well for industries. They ensure that skills are available in the sectors we need them.

The success of the Modern Apprenticeships scheme helps to position New Zealand for the future. It means we a more skilful workforce. Skills lead to higher incomes – for individuals and for the country as a whole. It means more jobs and a more secure future.

You are entering a workforce where there will be a premium on skill. Manufacturing and engineering are rapidly changing industries. There are more and more technical advances. Consumers demand ever higher standards and we increasingly want solutions tailored to unique individuals.

We need to adapt and to position ourselves to prosper within the new environment. But they are changes that should suit New Zealand. The trend towards smaller and smarter. Doesn’t that sound like us? We have fantastically creative manufacturing businesses in New Zealand. Fisher and Paykel, which makes world-class dishwashers. Blokart – a tiny company when I first saw it in Tauranga. Formway – world class designer chairs. Navman – a world class supplier of marine equipment.

All of these are design-led, high quality and creative businesses.

They all show that New Zealanders can compete. We are creative and resourceful people. These are qualities more and more in demand in the world. It is the creativity of the people in our manufacturing businesses that set them apart.

Sophisticated businesses require highly skilled people. That is why industry training is so important. It equips 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 certificates being awarded today recognise the efforts and determination of each successful recipient. There is credit due, also, to the businesses that have worked with young people and shown confidence in you. We should also acknowledge the successful contribution of ATNZ.

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


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