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Apprenticeships go over 8000 under Labour

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education
12 September 2005 Media Statement

Apprenticeships go over 8000 under Labour

More than 8000 trainees are now in Modern Apprenticeships, demonstrating the solid progress the Labour-led government has been making towards addressing skill shortages, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The latest figures show that at the end of June there were over 8,125 trainees in Modern Apprenticeships, an increase of over 360 since the end of March," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Modern Apprenticeship programme has gone from strength to strength after receiving repeated increases in funding from the Labour-led government.

"This is great news for our young people but also for New Zealand employers who have been faced with skills shortages since National decided to ignore the problem and scrap the traditional apprenticeship system in the 1990s.

"The success of Modern Apprenticeships builds on our success in other areas of industry training, where participation during 2004 increased to over 139,000.

"The Labour-led government has doubled industry training funding since 1999 when National was in government, so that by 2007, $141.5 million will be invested annually.

"Labour has also pledged to create 5,000 extra modern apprenticeships during our next term in government and increase overall participation in industry training to 250,000. Our commitment and investment exceeds National's policy in this area.

"We are moving forward as a country but this will be at risk. Education programmes, from early childhood education to tertiary education, are being threatened by National should it get into power, because of their $7 billion worth of unaffordable tax cuts.

"Of that, National has to borrow $3.5 billion - which will trigger home mortgage interest rates rises. The remaining $3.5 billion has to be cut from existing public services like health and education - but National is refusing to disclose to voters exactly what they will cut to pay for a tax bribe that is worth less than $10 for two thirds of taxpayers.

"Given their past track record of ignoring the skills shortages, then industry training could be at the top of the list," Trevor Mallard said.


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