Key Notes: Helping Our Businesses Grow
08 February 2013
In this issue:
State of the Nation
Meeting PM Gillard
Helping our businesses grow
Key Notes: The Prime Minister's newsletter
One of the most important things National can do for New Zealanders is put the right conditions in place to help create jobs, encourage investment, and build a stronger economy.
Yesterday, statistics came out showing New Zealand's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent for the December quarter. However, we know the labour market remains challenging for many people.
This underlines the importance of continuing with National's comprehensive Business Growth Agenda to help businesses grow, invest, and hire more staff. New Zealand faces some big opportunities, especially when it comes to the rebuild of Christchurch, and we're committed to ensuring more Kiwis are trained with the skills needed for the next few years. In my annual state of the nation speech, I announced we are rebooting the apprenticeship system. We're also funding 12,000 more tertiary places this year, supporting our fees-free Youth Guarantee scheme for 13,000 young people, providing new vocational pathways at secondary school, and funding for Māori and Pasifika trades training, to give young people more options to train and upskill.
On Wednesday I marked Waitangi Day in the Far North. Waitangi Day means many different things to many New Zealanders. For most of us it's becoming a day to look forward, rather than back. In my speech, I took the opportunity to look forward, and consider measures we're taking to improve outcomes for young Maori.
Regardless of ethnicity, young people with higher education qualifications have a better chance at earning higher incomes throughout their lives. This is why National has such a strong focus on lifting educational achievement for all our kids. We're committed to making meaningful improvements to people's lives, especially those who face the greatest challenges, and I firmly believe education is a fundamental part of this.
From my diary
This evening and tomorrow, I'm meeting Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who arrives in Queenstown for the annual Australia-New Zealand Prime Ministers' talks. This year's talks mark 30 years since New Zealand-Australia Closer Economic Relations (CER) began. This is one of the most comprehensive and successful trade agreements in the world so it will be great to reflect on the importance of CER to both our countries.
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