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Throwing out education changes is wise move says union

Throwing out education changes is wise move says union

The PSA applauds the government’s decision, announced today, not to merge NZQA and ERO and not to shift work from the Department of Labour to the Ministry of Education.

The PSA advised against merging the two agencies, saying there wasn’t enough overlap in their functions and that a merger would be costly and cause too much disruption.

The PSA also advised against shifting labour market analysis work from the Department of Labour to the Ministry of Education.

“The move was designed to bring training and education policy closer together, but would have damaged the Department of Labour’s ability to provide coherent research into employment and would have created as many problems as it solved,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“We’re happy that the government has listened and that our views have been taken into consideration.

“When it comes to ERO and NZQA, the financial gains of a merger would have been minimal. Both agencies are relatively small and described as “high-performing” in an upcoming OECD report.

“We fully recognise the need to reduce fragmentation and waste within the public service, but as we have said repeatedly, any mergers need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In this particular instance, the government has made the right decision to back away from its proposed changes.

“Enhancing collaboration and coordination between agencies often brings about the desired results without the same disruption. And, more importantly from the public’s point of view, without the costs associated with mergers and other structural changes,” says Brenda Pilott.


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