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Industry trainee numbers fall 31 per cent

Youth Affairs Spokesperson
Employment Spokesperson

24 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Industry trainee numbers fall 31 per cent

Industry trainee numbers have fallen by 41,000 --- or 31 per cent --- since National came to office, Labour’s Employment and Youth Affairs spokesperson Jacinda Ardern said today.

“That demonstrates in compelling fashion the lack of commitment National has to skills training,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“In the past year alone, the number of industry trainees has fallen by 16,000.”

Jacinda Ardern was commenting on a response by Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce to an OIA from Labour about industry trainee numbers.

“He’s delayed his response for a week longer than he should have, but that’s probably understandable given there’s an election this week, and the figures are embarrassing for National.

“There’s one slight note of cheer --- building and construction trainees have started to rebound slightly --- but in Christchurch the numbers are still 43 per cent lower than when National came to office.

“This is despite the Canterbury Skills Board saying we need 30,000 extra skilled trades people for the rebuild,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Labour knows that employers are facing tough financial times and training is an additional cost some don’t want to bear, but New Zealand needs to act now to avoid a looming skills shortage.

“That’s why Labour will convert the dole into a subsidy for employers who take on apprentices,” Jacinda Ardern said “This will create 9000 new places for a start.

“We will also create 1000 new group and shared apprenticeship places so employers don’t have to deal with all the responsibility of taking on an apprentice.

“National has no plan for skills training. Instead of boosting trades training and helping employers take on more apprentices, they cut $145 million from industry training in Budget 2011. That’s no vision for a smarter more productive New Zealand. No wonder Mr Joyce has delayed releasing the figures.”


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