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July 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Labour's plan, if elected, to increase apprenticeships and improve pathways from school to work is welcome, says the Industry Training Federation (ITF).

Labour has committed to strengthening the careers profession through investing in careers advice in schools, including careers education in the New Zealand Curriculum, and critically, strengthening partnerships between schools, businesses and training providers.

Andrew Little's announcement was made at the ITF conference today at Te Papa, where education, business and government leaders are meeting to discuss training opportunities across the workforce - from school leavers, through to the aging workforce.

"Throughout the country, 138,000 industry trainees and apprentices are gaining skills and qualifications on-the-job every year," says ITF Chief Executive Josh Williams. 

"While thousands of young people are not in jobs, education or training, a number of industries are reporting acute skills and training shortages. Young people need sustainable careers and New Zealand needs skilled workers."

Labour also outlined plans to make taking on apprentices a condition of winning major government projects, such as the KiwiBuild programme, would be a welcome incentive.

"It makes sense for government, as a huge player in the economy, to make use of its own skills and training system.  Our workplaces are our most up-to-date classrooms. Thousands of employers make a huge contribution to the development of skills. Growing that number would make even more of a difference." 

Industry training and apprenticeships use just 7 percent of the government’s tertiary education budget.  Future investment will change lives and boost our economy.  
"This week we celebrate the thousands of employers, trainees and apprentices who have helped make our industry training system the success it is, and we welcome plans for future growth,”  says Mr Williams.
Contact Josh Williams 021 618 467