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Skills Strategy to build workforce skills

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Tertiary Education
Hon Maryan Street
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

29 April 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed till 9.00am

Skills Strategy to build workforce skills

The skills of New Zealanders already in work moved to centre stage with the release of a comprehensive discussion document, Tertiary Education Ministers Pete Hodgson and Maryan Street said today.

Launching the New Zealand Skills Strategy discussion document, Pete Hodgson said, “New Zealand’s level of skills has risen significantly over recent years but we have paid insufficient attention to the skills of those already in work. Today that changes.”

“This document lists a set of priorities for ensuring that, from management to process work, the skills of working New Zealanders will be honed to meet the needs of a complex modern workplace.”

The document has been developed with social partners that include Business New Zealand, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, the Industry Training Federation and key agencies. Consultation will run till early June.

Maryan Street said the discussion document outlines four priorities for action over the next year. These are:

* Improving literacy, language and numeracy skills
* Supporting firms to attract, retain, develop and use skills across their whole workplace
* Ensuring the tertiary education system skill supply matches the needs of industry
* Ensuring young people in work are supported to continue to develop their skills

“Previous work on skills has focussed on the flow of workers out of education and training. This is the first skills focus on current workers. As 80 percent of the workers we will have in twenty years are already working, it is critical their skill development is supported, “ Maryan Street said.

Visit for more information about the New Zealand Skills Strategy, including consultation meetings throughout the country.


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