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Nats' Slight Future package: half a step ahead

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"There's no "Bright Future" for university graduates burdened with student loans who can't find jobs," says Labour tertiary education spokesperson Steve Maharey.

"Scholarships are fine but the government should be opening career paths for scientists and the other highly skilled people a knowledge economy needs. Otherwise it's just investing in the education of people who can't find work opportunities in National's low-wage, low-skill New Zealand."

Max Bradford is getting a "task force" to give him a strategic vision for tertiary education because he hasn't got a vision of his own. He's getting another "task force" to tell him how to increase industry training because he's got no ideas about that either."

"In the meantime most of the Government's barmy far-right ideas in the Tertiary Review are on hold or down the gurgler. After nine years they still have no plan. They only discovered the knowledge economy a couple of months ago, and it shows."

"The new spending in this package is pathetic and the reshuffling of existing funds is badly misjudged. Looting the Public Good Science Fund to increase the New Economy Research Fund is picking one research pocket to fill another. This must be the only Government in the world that thinks scientists are stupid enough to fall for that."

The PGSF had to turn away 72% of applications last year because it lacked the funding for them.

"Labour's tertiary education policy will stop the Government's silly commercialisation of universities and focus on cutting the cost of education for students. Our industry training policy commits us to a modern apprenticeship scheme. Labour has the policies the Government is struggling to match."

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