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Trade training in trouble

Colin King MP
National Party Associate Education Spokesman

14 September 2006

Trade training in trouble

National MP Colin King says there is no hope of solving the skills shortage when so many students don't even have the option of skills training. He is referring to figures released by National's Education spokesman, Bill English, which show that almost 16,000 students left school last year without achieving NCEA level 1 - the equivalent of the old School Certificate.

"This is having a huge impact on trade and skills training at a time when we face the worst skill shortage in a quarter of a century," says Mr King, who has responsibility for trade training.

"It will be very hard to solve the nationwide skills shortage when so many young people entering the workforce don't even hold the basic qualification that the vast majority of trade and skills courses require as a prerequisite for enrolment.

"Without NCEA level 1, school leavers who want to go on to further training have to trump up with $3,000 to $4,000 for a TOPS course to gain the basic reading and writing skills they should have learnt at school. "It is totally unacceptable that so many young New Zealanders are being let down by the education system, leaving them with very few options. "The best efforts of regional development agencies and local businesses to resolve the skills shortage won't succeed while so many young people aren't even making it to the starting line.

"Until the literacy and numeracy crisis in our schools is put to bed, the transformation of our economy will remain nothing but a forlorn dream," says Mr King.


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