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Trade skill levels dropping

Tue, 28 Sep 2004

National Education Spokesman

Trade skill levels dropping

New Zealand apprentices are no longer being entered into international competitions because their training is not up to scratch, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

"Youth Skills New Zealand has written to polytechnics explaining that it is no longer entering apprentices into some international competitions because they lack the skills required," he says.

The letter expresses concern that our training standards are slipping relative to the rest of the world, and cites electrical wiring, carpentry, plumbing and brick-laying as areas of prime concern in the building sector alone.

"This backs up growing anecdotal evidence from employers that the quality of skills training is dropping," says Mr English.

"New Zealand's best apprentices should be able to foot it with the best in the world and, until the late 1990s, they could."

This year's Budget promised to boost numbers of apprenticeships. The detail of the package was announced today.

"If Labour is serious about apprenticeships and addressing the skills problems we are facing, they will focus on improving skills not just churn out 1,000 extra sub-standard apprenticeships," says Mr English


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