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Labour's talk on trade training is rank hypocrisy

28 July 2005

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

Labour's talk on trade training is 'rank hypocrisy'

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says Labour's talk on trade training is rank hypocrisy.

Labour today announced that it would fund an additional 5,000 apprenticeships.

"On Monday, Labour turned their back on workers when they bet the house on interest free student loans," says Mr English.

"Under Labour, every young person would see university study as a much more attractive option than trade training. Why would anyone borrow from a bank, at market rates, money for tools and equipment when the government will lend you money for nothing to go university?

"Labour's priorities are clear: they would spend $30 million on trade training and more than ten times that on university students. "Just when young people were turning to the trades because of better incomes and job security, Labour is pushing them back to academia.

"Labour's bums-on-seats industry training policy will also lead to all the same problems it has had with radio sing-along and phantom computer courses.

"A policy driven by numbers for the sake of it will lead to rorts and drive down quality. Industry training organisations will have every incentive to put any warm body into a workplace so they can collect the government's cash.

"There are already worrying signs that the growth in apprenticeship numbers is leaving apprentices with a raw deal.

"I hear far too many stories about lack of supervision, lack of real training on the job and too many apprentices dropping out.

"What the economy needs is people with real skill, not some half-baked, unfinished apprenticeship.

"Labour's targets are unrealistic because businesses hammered by its anti-business policies and a slowing economy can't afford to take on the numbers. Labour missed the opportunity of a growing economy over the past five years because it spent all its money on dodgy low quality courses and restricted numbers in trade training.

"Labour's student loans and trade training packages have allowed its true colours to shine through - they have deserted the workers in favour of academics," says Mr English.

ENDS

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