September 1, 2005
Nats ‘have no cred’ on apprenticeships
The National Party’s sudden commitment to apprenticeships and trade training has no credibility, says the country’s largest union.
“They cannot be trusted,” said Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little.
“The last National Government, which was heavily influenced by Ruth Richardson and the Business Roundtable, cancelled apprenticeships because it said that individual employers should decide what training was needed.
“That decision led directly to the skills crisis we have today.”
Mr Little said that trade training was being rebuilt under the Labour Government, with 10,000 young apprentices in training.
“The scrapping of apprenticeships under the National Government has cost New Zealand dearly, with many young workers failing to gain the skills they need to earn a decent income, and employers unable to hire people with the skills they need.
“For the National Party to suddenly start saying that it will be the saviour of the apprenticeship system is beyond the pale”.