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Workplace project launched to help upskilling

Workplace project launched to help upskilling

A new workplace project aimed at upskilling employees and helping them gain qualifications was launched today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"The Learning Representatives pilot project is a great example of collaboration between employers and employees. This project reflects the aims of the wider Skill New Zealand campaign and has been strongly supported by Business New Zealand, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) and the Industry Training Federation who wanted to provide a new approach to building workplace skills.

"Learning Representatives will offer direct learning support to employees to make it easier for them to upskill or retrain and gain qualifications. Under the programme a dedicated person in the workplace acts as the "learning rep" - an advocate, guide and mentor, who advises fellow employees about educational opportunities relevant to the industries or sectors they work in, and how to access them," Trevor Mallard said.

"As a country, we need workers with a good mix of foundation and technical skills. This project is about maximising the connections between skills development on the job and at outside institutions.

"Our government has a clear commitment to developing a modern high performing economy, and a healthier and more educated society. As a country, we need workers with a good mix of foundation and technical skills.

"Labour has promised to boost investment and lift our targets even higher in industry training and Modern Apprenticeships after making good gains in numbers since 1999 when there was barely anything being done. We are also investing more in adult foundation learning as a result of the recent review of non-degree tertiary education."

A range of industries, and enterprises have been identified for the pilot Learning Representatives project over the next two years, including the clothing sector, dairy industry, wood sector, community services, plastics industry, seafood processing and the probation service.

The project also includes building links between workplaces and Industry Training Organisations. The Learning Representatives project is being coordinated by the NZCTU with funding provided by the government through the Tertiary Education Commission.

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