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Tertiary Cuts Show Joyce’s True Agenda

Tertiary Education, Skills and Training Spokesperson

9 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Tertiary Cuts Show Joyce’s True Agenda

The cuts to programmes and staffing at a number of Polytechnics are a result of Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce’s agenda to privatise as much of the provision of tertiary education as he can, says Grant Robertson, Labour’s Tertiary Education, Skills and Training spokesperson.

"Steven Joyce made clear under questioning in select committee earlier this year that he does not care where tertiary education is delivered. That signal is now being put into action with funding for level one and two courses moving from Polytechnics to private training providers.

"With this funding cut, a number of jobs are being lost at UCOL, EIT and other institutions.

“This affects the ability of Polytechnics to provide the full range of courses that are expected from them. These are public institutions that taxpayers have invested significant resources into over the years. They are being made vulnerable by the National-led Government's lack of support.

"Just a day after the announcement of the worst unemployment numbers since the late 1990s, the Government should be investing in the training and education provided by our Polytechnics. These institutions can play a critical role re-training and developing a skilled workforce. Instead some of them are fighting for their very existence.

"There is a place for private training establishments within the tertiary sector to meet specific needs. But it is clear that is not Mr Joyce's agenda.

“His agenda is an ideological one - to put as much of the tertiary sector into private hands as possible.

“A public tertiary system not focused on a profit motive is vital to ensuring all New Zealanders get the opportunity to develop their potential. Steven Joyce's approach puts this at risk,” Grant Robertson said.



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