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Anderton makes bid for education portfolio

Progressive Leader makes bid for education portfolio

Skills shortages in the regions have impressed on me the importance of accelerating our work to lift educational standards and access to training, Progressive Leader, Jim Anderton said at the Progressive Campaign launch in Auckland today.

"I want to be Education Minister in a new coalition.

"As Minister of Regional Development I meet business people all over the country. They tell me over and over again that they are struggling to find people with the right skills to help grow their businesses. We have businesses needing people with skills, and people needing skills in order to qualify for higher paid satisfying jobs.

"The government needs to play its part. Progressive wants to remove the skills gap. We will do a regular stocktake of skills shortages in the economy. We’ll encourage New Zealanders to train for the jobs where their skills are needed most.

"We’ve heard a lot about some weird courses receiving funding. I won't stand for that. New Zealand needs to ensure that we put that money into the areas where the skills are needed.

"Progressive will also reduce the student debt by paying off student loans for graduates who stay and work in New Zealand. That is the interest AND the loan.

"If we reduce student debt we’ll help to increase the level of skills and talent in the community, keep our talented youth here in New Zealand, and set our young people free to be all they can be.

"If you support a smarter, brighter future for New Zealanders, party vote Progressive," Jim Anderton said.

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