Hon Steve Maharey
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
15 June 2000
Building the nation's skills
The Government will invest an additional $73.2 million over four years to boost the capacity of New Zealanders to
succeed at work and in society and to counter growing skills shortages in the economy, Associate Education Ministers
Steve Maharey and Lianne Dalziel said today.
"Skills shortages are blighting an otherwise optimistic outlook for our economy and excluding far too many New
Zealanders from full social and economic participation.
"Budget 2000 provides $42.2 million over four years to fund Modern Apprenticeships, a new initiative which will go
nationwide from 1 January 2001.
"This provides work-based mentored training leading to recognised national qualifications. Employers have told us they
appreciate the way we have structured the scheme to remove the red tape previously associated with apprenticeships and
we have high hopes for its success.
"New Zealand’s young people face a complex, changing and uncertain world and to succeed they must become as skilled and
adaptable as possible. We will pilot a new Gateway programme in 2001 and 2002 which allows senior secondary students to
take vocational and technical units of learning, including through study in workbased environments. $4 million will be
provided for the pilots, to be funded through reprioritisation of funds allocated for the Secondary/Tertiary Alignment
"We are providing $8 million over four years for adult education and community learning. This is designed to improve
basic literacy skills, to give better access to tertiary level qualifications to those with poor levels of education,
and to improve community-based learning.
"Significant new investment is also being made in industry training. The Industry Training Fund will be increased by $23
million over four years, increasing total investment in industry training to $281.8 million by 2003/04.
"With a growing economy and the expansion of training into industries that were previously without systematic training
arrangements, employers, employees and Industry Training Organisations have been investing increasing amounts of their
own time and money in skills development.
By increasing the funds available for training subsidies, we are supporting the current growth in industry training and
allowing more people from a broader range of industries to access training in years to come.
"Government agencies are also being asked to focus on skills shortages. We will be writing into Skill New Zealand and
the Department of Work and Income's purchase agreements for the coming financial year a requirement to work with
business to identify skills gaps across the regions and to help in finding solutions," the Ministers said.