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$40 million to boost engineering

$40 million to boost engineering

A re-elected National-led government will allocate an additional $40 million to further boost engineering places and double the number of engineering graduates to at least match OECD averages, National Party Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment spokesman Steven Joyce says.

The announcement is part of National's commitment to increase the availability of skilled people and meet the skills needs of innovative New Zealand companies so they can grow and succeed on the world stage.

"We have dramatically improved the performance of the whole tertiary education system by focusing on results rather than just enrolments," Mr Joyce says. "Now is the time to bring the same unrelenting focus to supplying the skills that our innovative hi-tech companies need."

Mr Joyce says the new engineering commitment will build on the Government's previous investment of $52 million over four years in Budgets 2012 and 2013 to lift the number of engineering graduates at level five and above from New Zealand institutions by 500 by 2017.

"This new investment of $40 million over four years will support our target of doubling the number of engineering graduates from around 900 a year to 1,800 a year.

"This latest engineering investment, plus the three new ICT graduate schools we announced in Budget 2014, will go a long way to lifting the supply of skilled graduates needed for our booming high-tech industries."

Other announcements included in National's Tertiary Education and Skills Policy released today include:

• Increasing the number of Maori and Pasifika trades training places from 3,000 a year to 5,000 a year at a cost of $30 million over four years to boost the numbers of young Maori and Pasifika in the construction trades and in the primary sector.
• Setting a new target for upskilling our younger workforce by having 60 per cent of 25-34 year olds achieving a degree or diploma qualification by 2017.
• Setting up three new ICT graduate schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by mid-2015 at a cost of $28.6 million over four years.
• Setting up a new 'rate my qualification' survey so that students and institutions can see how employers rate their qualifications in the workplace.

"These announcements continue the implementation of National's clear tertiary education strategy which has six key priorities: delivering skills for industry, improving outcomes for at-risk young people, boosting achievement for Maori and Pasifika, lifting adult literacy and numeracy, strengthening our research institutions, and improving the international linkages of our tertiary sector.

"A re-elected National-led government will have an unrelenting focus on delivering on that strategy for the benefit of New Zealand's economy and society."

National’s Tertiary Education and Skills Policy is available at: http://ntnl.org.nz/YJAoeU

ends

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