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Government focus on workforce skills is welcome

Government focus on workforce skills is welcome

The Industry Training Federation welcomes the overall direction of the government's response to the Productivity Commission's Tertiary Education Inquiry.

"As Minister Goldsmith said, demand for skills is at 'fever pitch'. The challenge is to meet that demand, and to respond to industry needs," says ITF Chief Executive Josh Williams.

"We're pleased that immediate work will support smaller qualifications and micro-credentials, allow the system to deliver more personalised education and training, and allow learners to build up credentials in varied ways over time."

The government has recognised the critical role of employers and Industry Training Organisations, which link industry needs and skills delivery, through work-based learning.

"Employers are already New Zealand's largest provider of post-school education, through the industry training and apprenticeship system," says Mr Williams. "Work-based learning is current, relevant and ongoing throughout working lives."

Education and skills is a life-long enterprise, given the needs of an aging workforce, the changing nature of work, rapid technology development, and new skill requirements. "We are pleased that life-long learning is a government priority," says Mr Williams.

"Today's response promises to move towards a system that facilitates collaboration between the system players, and offers more fit-for-purpose education and training. We strongly agree with the Minister's call to promote pathways in the services, trades and technical areas to talented young people. We look forward to working closely with government agencies on its new work programme."

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