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Why is Labour hiding apprenticeship numbers?

Colin King MP National Party Associate Education Spokesman

26 July 2006

Why is Labour hiding apprenticeship numbers?

National's Associate Education spokesman, Colin King, says Labour should come clean and reveal how many young people who enrol in the Modern Apprenticeship programme actually complete an apprenticeship.

"For months National has been trying to find out this information but Labour won't tell us.

"What has Michael Cullen got to hide? His slippery silence suggests the number is high. I believe it's as high as 60% in some fields.

"Labour has spent $105 million on this programme but that's meaningless unless we know where it's been spent.

"Labour has no idea how the programme is operating, how many people are dropping out of it, or how the coordinators are spending the taxpayers' funding they receive.

"Labour's bums-on-seats approach to trade training means that programmes are funded not on the number of completions but on the number of enrolments they have at the end of each quarter.

"This means there are no incentives for coordinators to ensure they select the right people at the beginning because they can simply just replace them and still retain funding.

"National supports high standards in education. Labour's policies have focused on big numbers at the expense of sound standards," says Mr King.


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