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Labour In Disarray Over Skills Training

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

18 January 2005

Labour in disarray over skills training

The Labour Government has failed to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to skills training, says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

His comments come following the release of tertiary spending figures, which show that funding for university students in 2004 was almost eight times greater than funding for skills training and apprenticeships.

"Too many young people are drifting into university without thinking hard enough about their options for a well-paid future in a trade," says Mr English.

"This is especially concerning when you consider that 51% of students starting a qualification will leave five years later without having completed it."

Between 2000 and 2005 funding for university students will have increased by $203 million while funding for skills training will have increased by only $48 million.

"The Government's rhetoric about supporting skills training is undone by the reality of its confused spending programme," says Mr English.

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

"These figures are yet another sign that Labour's tertiary education funding priorities are in disarray."


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