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Steven Joyce: Minister for shuffling deckchairs

Deputy Leader
Tertiary Education, Skills and Training Spokesperson
Steven Joyce: Minister for shuffling deckchairs

An admission by Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce that he is working towards merging Industry Training Organisations so that only six remain, is further proof that the Government’s focus is on restructuring rather than growing the economy, Labour’s Tertiary Education, Skills and Training spokesperson and Deputy Leader Grant Robertson says.

“Just yesterday we heard that it is likely a super economic development Ministry is to be created for Mr Joyce to oversee. Today we hear he is also looking at major structural change to reduce the number of industry training organisations, from 33 to six.

“Re-arranging the deckchairs is not the way to improve New Zealand’s economic development or meet the training needs or skill deficits the country is facing,” Grant Robertson said.

“Industry Training in New Zealand is subject to a review at the moment. Some reduction in the number of Industry Training Organisations might result from that, but the emphasis should be on working with businesses to identify their needs before creating the structures around that, not the other way around.

“Comments from the Industry Training Federation indicate that Mr Joyce has not actually talked to them about his plans. That makes his approach even worse. He needs to get alongside the sector rather than making grand, political statements.

“In the last term of government National took $55 million out of Industry Training. That sort of thing can’t continue. It is damaging to the country.

“Increasing and improving the skills of our workforce should be our main focus. That is vital to improving productivity.
“Mr Joyce should stop shuffling the deckchairs and set his sights on avoiding the iceberg,” Grant Robertson said.


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