Increased training is smart economics - EPMU
Labour’s training policy announced today shows real vision for the future of New Zealand’s economy and for the future of New Zealand workers says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The policy was released at the party’s campaign launch and focuses on building a skilled work force and the infrastructure needed to support it as a means to stimulate the economy and ensure higher productivity and greater growth in the next economic upswing.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says Labour’s commitment to investing in training and up-skilling shows the party is keenly aware that our economy relies on valuing Kiwi workers and increasing their skills.
“It’s almost certain we are facing a serious economic down-turn and the possibility of increased redundancies but the best way to soften this blow is to make sure workers who cannot find another job in the short-term can access funds to retrain and up-skill so the country’s workforce is in a position to make the greatest gain possible from the next period of economic growth.
“During our last recession in the 1990’s Kiwis who lost their jobs were left with the option of low paid, low skilled and insecure jobs or the scrapheap and that failure to invest in workers created a huge shortage of the skills we needed to take full advantage of the economic boom over the last decade.
“That Labour is willing to use a downturn to invest in Kiwi workers and the infrastructure they need to get the job done shows a good understanding of what’s required as we head into harder economic times and their policy of long-term economic stimulus is a stark contrast to the National party’s approach of cutting tax and hoping we can shop our way out of recession.”
The EPMU represents 50,000 working New Zealanders across 11 industries and has representatives on industry training organisations including Competenz , ETITO, FITEC, ATTTO and Print NZ.