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Tertiary Strategy needs industry support

Tertiary Strategy needs industry support

14 March 2014

Industry must have a bigger role to achieve the government’s tertiary education priority to ‘deliver skills for industry’, says the Industry Training Federation.

“The Tertiary Education Strategy, released last week, is refreshing,” says ITF Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw. “Graduates need skills to get jobs and to stay in them. The strategy gives vocational education much more prominence, which reflects the many thousands of industry trainees who enhance our skilled workforce each year.”

“But to achieve the strategy’s first priority and deliver skills for industry, industry must dictate what skills need to be taught, and the tertiary education sector must deliver.”

“A more flexible funding model is also required to link education to real skills and work, rather than an isolated focus on qualification completion,” says Mark.

“Greater industry involvement will benefit individuals and our economy,” says Mark. “Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) are ideally placed to make this happen.”

ITOs can bring the strategy to life by contributing to each of the following priorities.
· To deliver skills for industry, ITOs can ensure industry representatives and associations collaborate with tertiary education organisations to plan and deliver education.

· ITOs support at risk young people into careers by helping employees up-skill through Industry Training. ITOs also work with the ‘at-risk’ sector and will play an increasingly pivotal role in the school to work transition.

· ITOs have a good record of boosting Maori and Pasifika achievement, and will work with employers to further improve participation and achievement in workplace training.

· Since 2007, ITOs have embedded literacy and numeracy in their training materials to improve adult literacy and numeracy. Workplaces have a critical role in boosting literacy and numeracy, and ITOs will help achieve progress.

· ITOs strengthen research by collaborating with tertiary education and research organisations to identify and define industry skills needs.

· International linkages are achieved through relationships with ITOs and similar international organizations

“The strategy is the beginning,” says Mark. “The challenge now is to deliver. ITOs, industry, the government and the tertiary education sector must work together to deliver skills for industry, our economy and our quality of life.”


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