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Big boost in industry training numbers

Big boost in industry training numbers

The number of workers participating in industry training jumped by nearly 20,000 last year to a new record high, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Total numbers in industry training during 2003 reached 126,870 trainees – a 19 per cent increase on the number participating during 2002. The number of employers involved in the industry training programme also increased substantially, with 29,206 firms now on board (up from 24,576 in 2002).

Helen Clark said the record levels of industry training give confidence that the government’s target of getting 150,000 New Zealanders learning on the job by the end of 2005 will be achieved.

“Our government has aggressively expanded industry training so that New Zealand can become a world-beating knowledge economy and society. More skills in our workforce will lead to higher productivity, more innovative products and services, and secure employment opportunities.

“Since the Labour-led government came to office in late 1999 the number of workers participating in industry has grown by a massive 56 per cent, an achievement made possible by the considerable investment we have made in resources and new programmes.

“Total funding for industry training has increased by 70 per cent over the same period, and we have introduced highly popular programmes like Modern Apprenticeships and Gateway which are introducing young people for a wider range of career opportunities in the trades.

“Employers know that highly skilled workers are the essential foundation to being a successful business in today’s globalised economy. Workers know that with higher levels of skill come better pay and conditions,” Helen Clark said.

Steve Maharey said the government is working closely with business and unions to see the number of workers learning on the job grow even higher. . . / 2 “In partnership with Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions through the Skill New Zealand campaign, we are seeking to further increase both the number of industry trainees and the number of firms involved,” Steve Maharey said.

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