17 March 2004
Industry Training Good for Workers,
Good for the Economy
The number of working people taking part in industry training means that economic growth through improving skill is well on the way to becoming a reality, Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
The Government has announced that the number of workers participating in industry training jumped by nearly 20,000 last year to a record high of nearly 127,000 – an increase of 19 per cent.
The figures show an even distribution of training throughout the country.
“While one might expect a lower pick-up of formal training in rural areas, there is no indication of this,” Carol Beaumont said. “You don't have to leave town to develop a career. Industry training is accessible education for all working people.”
However, unions were concerned that there was only a slight increase in the proportion of women in industry training, she said.
Just one-quarter of trainees were women, and the proportion of Maori and Pacific women in training was even lower.
“The figures reflect the low number of women in the trades, and the low number of employers in female-intensive service industries who are involved in training programmes,” Carol Beaumont said.
“The CTU will continue to push for fair access to training opportunities for women through avenues such as the Skill New Zealand campaign.
“We will continue to play a major role in supporting industry training and will work with business and the Government to increase the number of trainees and employers involved,” she said.