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Govt prefers twilight golf to skills training

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

12 January 2005

Govt prefers twilight golf to skills training

The Government spent more on community education courses like twilight golf last year than it is prepared to put into trade training, according to official figures released today by National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

"Demand for skills training is out-stripping the Government's readiness to contribute. At the same time, growth in unassessed community education courses like twilight golf is through the roof."

In 2004, the Industry Training Fund was limited to $98 million. In the same year, $112 million was spent on community education.

"Some industry training organisations are predicting that the Government's funding cap will mean they will be forced to limit numbers this year.

"This comes as we face the worst skills shortage in a quarter of a century.

"Employers who are crying out for skilled workers will be insulted as they see how money is wasted in other parts of the tertiary sector.

"Labour's tertiary education funding priorities are in disarray. It's nonsense to spend more money on dodgy community courses when the economy is suffering from a lack of skilled workers," says Mr English.

ENDS

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