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New initiative to address Auckland skill shortages

Wed, 29 Sep 2004

New initiative to address Auckland skill shortages

Auckland employers will benefit from a $9.6 million national Skills Package designed to help to address skill shortages.

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Auckland employers will benefit from a $9.6 million national Skills Package designed to help to address skill shortages, says Auckland Issues Minister Judith Tizard.

The package, aimed at building skills in critical areas of the workforce, was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey.

Judith Tizard says Auckland employers in particular are feeling the pinch from skill shortages, which have resulted from strong growth in the region.

"Investment in skill development is more important than ever for Auckland, with unemployment at a low 3.7 per cent, and demand for skilled labour continuing to grow," said Judith Tizard.

Judith Tizard says the package will build skill levels in critical areas of Auckland's workforce and enhance worker education and training in Auckland.

"The Auckland region's employers can expect to see around 175 more Modern Apprentices and around 900 more government-funded industry trainees as a result of this initiative.

"The Skills Package includes an extra $8.9 million nationally over the next four years for faster expansion of the Modern Apprenticeship scheme - providing 1,000 more places this financial year.

"It also provides a one-off addition of $5 million nationally for more participation in industry training - about 5,000 additional funded industry-training places in 2005.

"The government's work with industry is ongoing, and will ensure skills shortages are minimised and companies continue to have the certainty they need to plan and invest in Auckland's future," said Judith Tizard.

ENDS

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