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Key announces Trades Academy for South Auckland

John Key MP
National Party Leader

3 November 2008

Key announces Trades Academy for South Auckland

National Party Leader John Key says a National-led Government will fund Southern Cross Campus in Mangere East to establish a “Trades Academy” for South Auckland school pupils, one of at least five Trades Academies that National will establish in the next three years.

“National will provide at least $6 million in capital funding to provide Southern Cross with the new trades and technology facilities it needs to give pupils a new trade training and apprenticeship pathway”, says Mr Key, announcing National’s Trades and Skills policy.

Southern Cross Campus caters to around 1,750 year 1-15 pupils across four different decile 1 schools: a junior school, a middle school, a senior school, and a total-immersion Maori-language school. It also runs a Cadet Unit.

“Southern Cross has told me they think improving access to trades training for their pupils is vital for the future of their community.

“They want to work with local employers, Manukau Institute of Technology, and other tertiary providers and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) to provide school pupils with specialised trades training in fabrication, armed services, tourism, business, creative design, and hospitality.

“Southern Cross has a great vision for the future – all they need now is some backing from the government. A National-led Government will give them that backing.

“We will start by building the facilities they need and we will continue to work with the school and its community to realise their trades and industry-training vision.”

Mr Key says this commitment is one of a series of initiatives that a National-led Government will take to put trades and industry training back into the heart of the school system.

“I believe we can get a lot more young Kiwis interested in school, and achieving more while they’re there, if we offer them something practical and something that might lead to a job they can be passionate about.

“There is a clear need for better trades training in our schools. Employers are crying out for better-skilled workers. Schools and teachers are hunting for ways to keep students engaged. Students are hungry for more relevant learning opportunities.

“This Trades in Schools policy, taken together with National’s Youth Guarantee, will be a vital part in getting New Zealanders better engaged in education and equipping tomorrow’s workforce with relevant skills.”

In making the announcement, Mr Key highlighted other aspects of National’s Trades and Skills policy, including National’s commitment to:

• Work with schools to build at least five new Trades Academies in the next three years. Trades Academies will be centres of excellence that specialise in providing school pupils with learning opportunities relevant to a career in trades or industry.
• Increase funding for trades and technology facilities in schools as part of National’s 21st Century School Building Plan.
• Increase the number of technology and trades teachers by:
• Introducing a $19 million voluntary bonding programme that will include student loan write-offs for graduate technology teachers.
• Committing $12 million over the next three years for a programme of supervised in-service teacher training to enable technology teachers’ qualifications to be recognised at degree level.
• Continue to expand the availability of school-based apprenticeships.
• Work with schools, tertiary organisations, and ITOs to give schools more flexibility to run trades training outside the school gates.
• Ensure the technology curriculum includes the need for pupils to make things, build things, and produce things.


To view National’s Trades and Skills policy go to:
http://national.org.nz/files/2008/trades_and_skills_policy.pdf


ENDS

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