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Robson -South Auckland is training for its future

17 March 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Progressive MP says South Auckland is training for its future

More people are learning skills and trades in South Auckland than ever before, says Progressive MP Matt Robson. Data published today shows that 4,301 people were involved in industry training during 2004 in South Auckland. That means there were 262 more people involved in training than in 2003.

"The best strategy to defeat poverty is to have the skills that you need to get a good job.

"So it is great news that today's figures mean that the region's young people are enjoying their best ever chance to get into a trade and to develop quality skills that will set them up for life," the Progressive MP said.

Matt Robson said it isn't only young people that are benefiting, but employers as well.

"Don't forget that many South Auckland employers have battled skills shortages since the disastrous decision of the last National Party-led government to scrap the traditional apprenticeship system in the 1990s.

"The progressive coalition government I belong to introduced the Modern Apprenticeships programme in 2000 and I'm just waiting for National to do a u-turn on its ill-advised promise to abolish it," Matt Robson said.

All New Zealanders are benefiting from the dramatic lift in industry training, funding for which has doubled since the coalition government took office in late 1999. Across the country, nearly 140,000 trainees participated in various industries in 2004 – a ten per cent rise over the previous year.

"With very strong economic growth and the lowest unemployment rate in the developed world, it just makes obvious sense for the government and industry to continue to work together to find common solutions to skill shortages and the need to raise the productivity of our economy.

ENDS

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