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October 28, 2016 at 01:00 pm

More working New Zealanders are gaining skills and qualifications on the job, earning while they learn, says the Industry Training Federation.
Our industry training and apprenticeship system is improving steadily, according to recently released Tertiary Education Commission 2015 performance reports. Programme completion rates in 2015 were 75 percent, up from 72 percent, and 2015 credit achievement rates were at 80 percent, up from 75 percent in 2014.

"More people are getting real skills for real jobs while gaining national qualifications. The results are very pleasing and make an even more compelling case for investment in work-based learning as an effective and efficient way to deliver a skilled and productive workforce," says ITF Chief Executive Josh Williams.

Industry Training and Apprenticeships involves employer-led education across most of New Zealand's major industries.  Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) work with thousands of New Zealand's employers and workers to deliver skills and qualifications, and address skill shortages in many areas. 
“Industry training is a win-win-win-win", says Mr Williams. "Workers win because they get skills and industry relevant qualifications while getting paid, without taking on student fees and debt.  Business wins through accessing a high quality training infrastructure that delivers up-to-date specialist skills and employability.  The taxpayer wins as subsidies for workplace education are much lower, and trainees and apprentices pay tax rather than draw on student support.  And the government wins with the instant economic return from a system that develops and deploys lifelong skills in the real economy."

There has been a marked improvement in the system since a major review in 2010, and the economic recovery since the recession.  “New Zealand is fortunate to have an industry-led training system. Industry determines its skills needs and arranges training to meet those needs," Mr Williams says. "The results show the system is working and the numbers are increasing.  Our eleven ITOs provide strong support to employers and trainees and they can be proud of these results.”