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Upskilling Partnerships improve basic skills

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment
Hon Maryan Street
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

4 August 2008 Media Statement

Upskilling Partnership Programme improves basic skill levels

Helping employers improve the skills of their workers is vital, says Minister for Social Development and Employment Ruth Dyson.

Led by the Department of Labour, the Upskilling Partnership Programme (UPP) is designed to assist employees and raise demand for literacy and numeracy skills training in the workplace.

“This programme launched in 2007 initially aimed to have 15 partnerships in place by June 2009. But the great success of the programme has seen this goal already well surpassed with a total of 22 already,” Ms Dyson said.

Tonight Ms Dyson will present certificates to the programme partners at an event in the Wellington Convention Centre.

“The participation of numerous captains of industry is indicative of the importance of the initiative and the drive to ensure it succeeds,” Ms Dyson said.

The partners included employers, education providers and other stakeholders. A variety of industries will be represented at the event, including construction, manufacturing, commercial laundry services, aged care, hospitality and tourism. Education providers included institutes of technology, polytechnics, and a variety of private training establishments and adult and community education providers.

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education Maryan Street, also speaking at tonight’s event, said early results from this scheme’s first workplace training programmes indicated that this type of training could be very effective.

“Not only have there been positive changes in workplace practices, paperwork and communications, but there have also been positive changes in the participants’ self confidence and attitudes to learning. Even small changes in skills can bring about significant change for people and their workplaces," said Maryan Street.

The Upskilling Partnership Programme is part of the New Zealand Skills Strategy which includes improving literacy, language and numeracy skills and supporting firms to use these skills across their whole workplace. In this year’s budget, $168 million was allocated over four years to support this type of training in the workplace.

Press welcome. Lion Harbourview Lounge, Michael Fowler Centre, Wakefield Street, WG. 5:30pm – 7:30pm.


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