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Better skills access for workers key to high wages

CTU MEDIA RELEASE
22 July 2008

Better skills access for workers key to high wage economy

“Increasing workers’ skills is at the heart of economic transformation and unions are pleased to be working with others on a national skills strategy,” Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said, following the launch of the New Zealand Skills Strategy Action Plan.

“Skill development is a key part of building a high wage, high skill economy and lifting productivity.”

“As well as being an important strategy for competing in a global economy, having a highly skilled workforce is an effective way to tackle family poverty, increase social mobility and improve the quality and security of work.”

“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."

The Action Plan has been developed in close consultation between the government, social partners (the Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand), and the Industry Training Federation. This included a round of meetings through the country to get feedback.

“The CTU supports the goals as well as the specific actions in the strategy. For instance, the commitment to develop specific skills plans for industries and regions not only builds on the tertiary education reforms but also aims for concrete outcomes that will benefit workers as well as employers.”

Another action is to ensure that people have much better access to the information they need to make the best decisions on skills development, Carol Beaumont said

“Unions are pleased to play our part across all aspects of the strategy, including encouraging workplace learning through our own Learning Reps programme.”

ENDS

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