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Federated Farmers Backs Better Apprenticeship

2 November 2000 PR116/2000

Federated Farmers Backs Better Apprenticeship Training

Education spokesperson Roger Barton presented Federated Farmers' submission on the Apprenticeship Training Bill to the Education and Science Select Committee today.

The Apprenticeship Training Bill provides a framework for the Government's Modern Apprenticeship programme, which is aimed at facilitating young people into industry based training.

"There is a desperate shortage of young people coming into the agricultural industry. Dairying in the South Island is at crisis point, with farm owners and sharemilkers crying out for workers," said Mr Barton.

"This Bill is aimed specifically at recruiting young people into industry-based training and the Federation welcomes this initiative."

Mr Barton told the Select Committee that although they supported the main thrust of the Bill, there were some problems as currently worded.

"Federated Farmers' concern is that the Bill does not provide enough incentives for employers to become involved in the Modern Apprenticeship programme. The scheme will fail without willing employers," Mr Barton commented.

The Select Committee was told that employers should be screened for suitability before employing an apprentice under the programme.

"The Bill states that apprentices will be screened for suitability before being placed. The federation believes that the same should apply to employers. Not all employers are good educators, and the Bill should recognise that."

Federated Farmers supported the role of training co-ordinators who will recruit and place apprentices with employers and act as a go-between apprentices and employers.

"The co-ordinators work to recruit competent young people into apprenticeships. That is good news for agriculture as we desperately need more young people in the industry."

"The federation also backed the introduction of co-ordinator performance standards, and certainly welcomes better accountability in industry-based training," concluded Mr Barton.

ENDS For further information: Roger Barton 025-415-268 or 06-304-9495 Emma O'Sullivan 06-757-3423


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