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A kick in the teeth for second-chance learners

David Clark
MP For Dunedin North

4 September 2013

A kick in the teeth for second-chance learners

The Government’s decision to withdraw around $1 million in funding to trusted Dunedin second-chance education providers will come as a huge blow to Otago, where unemployment numbers are the highest they have been in 20 years, Labour MP David Clark says.

“Changes to the Foundation Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) programme announced by Steven Joyce today will see close to $1 million pulled from successful training providers such as Kokiri Training, the Dunedin Training Centre, Salvation Army, Approach Community Learning and Tokomairiro Training.

“Responding to questions I asked in Parliament today, Mr Joyce confirmed fears that the money will be allocated further north. He refused to guarantee that the funding withdrawn by the Tertiary Education Commission from Otago-Southland would be distributed in the region.

“New Zealand can’t afford a two-speed economy. The OECD says the greatest economic growth gains are to be got from training low-skilled workers in the regions.

“This move takes us in the opposite direction and will hit hard in the South.

“Given the withdrawal of a million dollars from the region it is disgraceful that the Minister couldn’t commit to even one extra Youth Guarantee placement in the Otago-Southland region.

“It is time for Otago to stand up to this Government and demand a fair deal.”

ENDS

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