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National’s polytech cuts hurting the heartland


9 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

National’s polytech cuts hurting the heartland

Cuts of more than $30 million of funding for regional polytechnics is further evidence that the National Government is neglecting provincial New Zealand, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Tertiary Education, Skills and Training Spokesperson.

"Polytechnics play a vital role in the economy of our regions by providing the skilled workforce that is needed to drive economic growth. They provide opportunity for both school leavers and those re-training. But under National between 2010 and 2011 $32 million was cut from regional polytechs.”

“This is wilful neglect of provincial New Zealand.”

Grant Robertson is in Invercargill today speaking to a public forum on tertiary education.

"Southland has been hit hard by these cuts. The Southern Institute of Technology had $4.9 million or 14% of its budget cut in 2011. This led to cuts in carpentry, electrical and engineering courses. These are core trade skills that every regional community needs to develop."

"Beyond SIT itself, the Southland region has seen significant cuts to Adult and Community Education and to the numbers of modern apprentices and industry trainees. Added together this shows the National government is selling Southland and other regions short."

"Labour believes that we need a network of strong polytechnics across New Zealand. They need to be supported to provide the skilled workforce that regions need. We also want to see centres of excellence develop in polytechs to help drive innovation. Labour will back our regions and ensure there is support for them to grow." Grant Robertson says.
ends


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