If the minister wants to rebuild trades he needs to stop the widespread redundancies of trades tutors says TEU national president Sandra Grey.
The minister of tertiary education Steven Joyce announced yesterday that there would be an increased focus on trades at polytechnics to cope with higher levels of demand during the rebuild of quake-stricken Christchurch.
The minister told NZPA the boost would involve re-prioritising courses toward the trades and an increase in funding. Dr Grey says the first thing Mr Joyce needs to do is prevent polytechnics around the country making trades tutors redundant. At the moment NorthTec is reviewing its electrical engineering and carpentry course with a view to getting rid of a number of tutors.
Similarly Manukau Institute of Technology recently got rid of a number of skilled tutors from its mechanical and electrical engineering courses and Wintec has made trades staff redundant late last year too.
“The main problem for these polytechnics and others is that they are not getting the block courses of students from the industry training organisations that they used to get in the past. The reason they are not getting those students because this same government cut funding to industry training.”
“Rebuilding Christchurch, investing in education and giving people the chance to become skilled trades apprentices cannot happen while funding cuts force polytechnics to reduce their teaching capacity. The minister needs to stop the redundancies by putting new money into trades and into industry training, not moving around old money,” said Dr Grey.