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June 12, 2017 at 11:45 am

While Budget 2017's gains for work-based education and training were modest, the $3.5 million boost for employer-led literacy and numeracy programmes was a breath of fresh air. 

"This funding recognises the productivity impacts that workplace literacy and numeracy programmes are having in businesses across New Zealand,” says Industry Training Federation Chief Executive, Josh Williams. “Over a million adult New Zealanders have low literacy and numeracy skills. This can create major barriers in people's work and lives.” 

The Skills Highway literacy and numeracy programme helps create smarter, safer workplaces and prouder, more capable workers.  

Many New Zealand businesses are improving performance with the help of workplace literacy and numeracy funding. New Zealand-wide Waste Management Ltd are creating a healthier, happier environment at work and in the community. The renewed confidence among employees transfers into a job well done. Carter Holt Harvey’s Whangarei site manager says: “If we invest in training for our people we get a return every single time.” And the site manager at the Timaru branch of fishing and aquaculture business, Sanford, says the training has transformed their team into becoming one of Sanford’s best performing workplaces.     
“Literacy and numeracy training changes lives,” says Mr Williams. “This extra funding is essential. It means more employers throughout New Zealand can now access support to upskill their staff and upgrade their business.”

On Budget day, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Paul Goldsmith, said we need a world-class tertiary education system that delivers modern skills. “It’s refreshing to see the vital connection between skills and education acknowledged,” says Mr Williams. “We now have 148,000 industry trainees and apprentices in new Zealand,which makes employers are now the largest provider of post-school education in New Zealand.  We need to see more of our tertiary education investment targeted to our working population.”

We urge employers to contact the Skills Highway team to discuss the road to better business performance with workplace literacy and numeracy programmes.

Contact: Josh Williams, Chief Executive
021 618 467