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Ministers see science programme at work

9 August 2006

Ministers see science programme at work

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard and Associate Economic Development Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban today visited Tawa Primary School to see a programme aimed at increasing the number of students studying science and technology in action.

Futureintech is a partnership programme between government and the private sector aimed at increasing the number of students studying science, technology, or engineering at a tertiary level.

More than 100 voluntary ambassadors, many of them young technology graduates with two to three years work experience, work with 1,000 primary and secondary
schools throughout New Zealand to inspire students to take up science and technology careers. The ambassadors, following Futureintech training and supported by a facilitator, work directly with students in the school-based programme.

"New Zealand’s need for a more highly skilled workforce in the technology, engineering and science industries has become urgent.

"Tertiary graduate numbers in these fields are not high and fall well short of industry demand. If we don’t lift participation rates overall and particularly for Maori and Pacific Island students, the situation will worsen over the coming decade," Trevor Mallard said.

The programme is promoted to the ambassadors for its value in professional development particularly in developing speaking, presentational and group interaction skills.

"It's good to see that the support we give to exporters is paying off as the Labour-led government works with businesses to transform New Zealand into an export-led economy that is innovative, high-wage and high value," Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said.

ENDS

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