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Increasing workers' skills necessary

Council of Trade Unions
Embargoed until Tuesday 29 April 2008

Increasing workers' skills is at the heart of economic transformation

"Increasing workers' skills is at the heart of economic transformation and is key to lifting New Zealand's productivity. A concerted effort to take a wider look at skills development beyond routine training issues is welcome," Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.

The CTU joined Business New Zealand, the Industry Training Federation and Government in launching consultation on the New Zealand Skills Strategy this morning.

"Supporting workers to improve their skills in areas such as literacy and numeracy is critical to building the high wage, high skill economy that everyone wants. 8 out of 10 workers of the workforce of 2017 are at work today and so a good place to invest in people is directly at the workplace," Carol Beaumont said.

"The wider social benefits of increased skills investment will be felt in many ways including workers having more access to employment opportunities, supporting their children's learning and being able to take part in a wider range of community activities."

"Our commitment to the skills strategy stems from an overall goal we have of improving the quality of work. We have done a lot of work around considering what the workplace of the future might look like, and the CTU thinks there are five features that will define decent, quality work and a modern workplace."

"It will be high wage and high value; it will be highly skilled; workplace practices will be based on fairness and respect; industries will be well networked and the importance of public services understood; and it will be healthy, safe and sustainable."

"The workplace of the future must be a learning organisation focused on lifelong learning for workers. A national discussion about how to build the skills of the entire workforce is something we are very pleased to be part of, and one which we will continue working with employers, industry and government on," Carol Beaumont said.


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