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More industry training eases skill shortages

29 June 2006

More industry training eases skill shortages

The government is addressing skill shortages in the labour market, Social Development and Employment Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

According to a series of reports released by the Department of Labour today, the number of people achieving qualifications in the 14 trades monitored has almost doubled from 1600 in 2001 to 3000 in 2005.

Similarly, the number of people in training doubled from 8000 in 2001 to 16000 in 2005. Wages have also grown significantly across the 14 trades.

“This impressive growth in qualification achievement is likely to continue over the next few years as the number of people enrolling in courses continues to increase,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

Migration is also having a positive effect on trades numbers.

“In the five years to 2001 New Zealand experienced a net loss of more than 4,600 trades people. Since 2003, there has been a positive net inflow of trades people into New Zealand,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

“The current cycle of shortages began in the late 1990s, due to the low level of trade training that occurred during that time. Employers interviewed as part of these surveys indicated that the changes to the apprenticeship system in the 1990s impacted negatively on the number of people entering training.

“Labour introduced Modern Apprenticeships and has created a training environment that invests in people and in the skills this economy needs.”

“The Labour-led government is committed to building a skilled and productive workforce that can contribute to the social and economic development of New Zealand,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

The reports can be viewed on the Department of Labour’s website: http://dol.govt.nz/jvm/

ENDS


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