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Employment Relations Education Contestable Fund

Employment Relations Education Contestable Fund Allocations 2003/2004

The Minister of Labour Paul Swain has announced the final funding allocations from the Employment Relations Education Contestable fund for the 2003/2004 year.


The Minister of Labour Paul Swain has announced the final funding allocations from the Employment Relations Education Contestable fund for the 2003/2004 year.

Twenty seven organisations, including employer, union and other education providers have received allocations in the latest round.

"The fund is continuing to contribute to increasing employees, unions and employers skills and knowledge about employment relationship and health and safety issues", says Mr Swain.

The Employment Relations Education (ERE) Contestable Fund is funded by Vote: Labour, and supports employment relations' education and the training of health and safety representatives under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Two million dollars was available for allocation in the 2003/2004 year.

The Committee includes representatives from Business NZ, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and representatives of tertiary education institutions. Dr Wilf Malcolm, a former Vice Chancellor of Waikato University, chairs the Committee.

A range of projects and courses are to be funded.

Examples of courses and projects funded include health and safety training targeting small businesses, silviculture workers, farm workers, residential construction workers and adventure tourism workers; training for union delegates; courses on problem solving, good faith and basic employment responsibilities; and the translation of pamphlets relating to employment rights and obligations into other languages.

Eligible employees can use leave provided under the Employment Relations Act to attend employment relations' education courses.

Applications for Contestable funding under the 2004/2005 funding round are now open. Further information about applying to the fund is available on the Employment Relations Service website at

Organisations to receive funding in the 2003/2004 funding round are:

Business New Zealand $510,000Council of Trade Unions $378,193Impac Services Limited $163,782Service and Food Workers Union $102,237CTU and Service and Food Workers Union (joint project)$100,000Landbased Training$63,000PPTA $62,395Rail and Maritime Transport Union $56,297New Zealand Nurses Organisation $56,250National Distribution Union $55,000Clothing Laundry and Allied Workers Union and Unite $50,000PSA $43,312Agriculture New Zealand and Dexcel $40,000Agriculture New Zealand and Tectra $40,000New Zealand Retailers Association $38,220OSEA $36,680New Zealand Childcare Association $35,500New Zealand Educational Institute $32,700Association of University Staff $30,719National Union of Public Employees $21,056Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union $16,540Te Piringa Nga Kaimahi Maori o Aotearoa $16,250Southern Amalgamated Workers Union $15,000Waitec $10,000Association of Staff in Tertiary Education $9,487EPMU, PSA, PPTA (joint project)$6,648TOTAL$1,989,266

"I am pleased to be making these announcements and welcome the contribution that projects under the Employment Relations Education Contestable Fund have made to improving the knowledge and skills of employees, unions, employers and employers' organisations" says Mr Swain.


What is the Employment Relations Education Contestable Fund?

The Employment Relations Education (ERE) Contestable Fund supports employment relations education under the Employment Relations Act and the training of health and safety representatives under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

In particular:the aim of employment relations education is to increase skills and knowledge of employment relations matters to enable employers, employees and unions to deal with each other in good faith and build productive relationships the aim of health and safety representative training is to promote co-operation among employers, employees and unions in health and safety management, especially by facilitating the constructive input of the persons doing the work. When was it established?

The ERE Contestable Fund was established in October 2000 and has been operation for three and a half years.

Who decides which organisations get funding?

The Employment Relations Education Advisory Committee assesses applications against publicly available criteria and makes recommendations about the allocation of funding to the Minister of Labour.

The Committee comprises three representatives of Business New Zealand; three representatives from the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions; a representative from Victoria University; a representative from the Association of Polytechnics; a representative providing a Maori perspective; a representative providing a Pacific perspective and an independent chairperson.

Who can apply to the fund?

The fund is open to applicants who are a registered union; a union organisation; an employer; an employers' organisation; any other provider recognised under the Education Act or by NZQA.

What kinds of projects receive funding?

Most projects that receive funding are for the development and delivery of employment relations education courses for employers and/or employees.

How is funding monitored?

The Department of Labour's contracts with fund recipients contain staged payments and require recipients to regularly complete progress reports. On completion of funding contracts, organisations are required to report on the outcomes of ERE delivered.

How is the ERE Contestable Fund evaluated?

A comprehensive review of the delivery of ERE was undertaken in 2002. The review confirmed the general direction of fund and made recommendations which have been progressively implemented by the Department of Labour. Work on further developing evaluation of the overall educational outcomes of the programme is progressing.


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