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Jobs through growth and local economic development

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Labour's strategy for economic growth and local economic development is at the heart of its employment policy, says industry and business development spokesperson Pete Hodgson.

"Growth alone does not guarantee more jobs, but growth with smart government can," said Mr Hodgson on the release of Labour's employment policy today. "Labour backs up its commitment to full employment with a clear vision of the role for the state in industry development.

"That vision includes detailed programmes for business development and financing, technological change, promotion of research and development, and local economic development."

"Of special benefit to the regions will be our Local Economic Assistance Fund. This will supplement locally-raised funds for research and development of local economic strategies. It could also support development of industry clusters and fund initiatives to attract new investment.

"Labour will also help young New Zealanders into work with its updated apprenticeship policy. We are committed to introducing new apprenticeship legislation early in our first term of government. All employers will be required eventually to develop a training programme that allows access to industry-approved training.

"Just last week a report from the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association noted a consensus in manufacturing that the Government's lack of vision is helping to prevent our economy realising its full potential. The same day Bendon, a New Zealand business icon, said it was departing for Asia and leaving up to 400 New Zealand workers without jobs.

"The need for Labour's innovative approach to job creation has never been more urgent."

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