Tertiary Update Vol 15 No 25
Labour MP Megan Woods has asked tertiary education minister Steven Joyce to explain how his Skills for Canterbury programme is funded and what the results have been.
In Budget 2011 the government announced a $42 million Skills for Canterbury initiative to train people to meet additional labour demand for the reconstruction of Christchurch. The initiative included up to 3000 more construction-related training places in polytechnics around the country, accelerated training programmes and more skills brokers to help place people in training.
Of that $42 million only $8 million has been spent so far.
Steven Joyce says that students have filled 1,179 of the 1,500 available places this year. To pay for them, in addition to the $8 million from the contingency, the Tertiary Education Commission has also reprioritised $15.722 million from within existing baselines.
About 40 percent of the funding allocated for Skills for Canterbury in 2012 has come from money that the Tertiary Education Commission has reprioritised, rather than from the fund itself.
Megan Woods says New Zealand has ‘a golden opportunity’ to help young people on the benefit to get skills and jobs, ‘and it is important we do not squander it’.
“The government is preparing to bring masses of labour from overseas, which is important, and will be gratefully received. But it also has additional money that is not being spent, which we could use to train our own young people,” said Megan Woods.
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
- 26 for Babies – coalition launched to extend paid parental leave
- Challenging general staff myths
- New TEU president will need to stand up and be heard
- Department of Labour advice shows employment law changes unfair
- When courses are free online, what’s left to sell?
The actions of the global cleaning company, OCS, in cutting the working hours of 50 Massey University cleaners will be being tested in the Supreme Court today. Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota National Secretary John Ryall said that OCS won a contract to clean the Massey University campuses in Palmerston North and Wellington in 2010. “As soon as OCS took over the contract they slashed the cleaners’ hours,” he said. “They gave the cleaners notice that their working hours would be reduced to 27 hours a week and their working year cut to 31 weeks.” – Service and Food Workers Union
Uganda is undergoing a higher education boom. The result of introducing universal primary education in 1997 and universal secondary education a decade later is a surplus of students looking for a university placement – University World News
Immigration New Zealand has started investigating 23 private training establishments in Auckland that enrolled more than 230 students from China who arrived on fraudulent visas. At least two of the schools are believed to have problems with “non-attendance, non-enrolment and poor documentation”, the agency said yesterday – New Zealand Herald
Risky lending caused private USA student loan debt to balloon in the past decade, leaving many Americans struggling to pay off loans that they can’t afford, a government study says. Private lenders gave out money without considering whether borrowers would repay, then bundled and resold the loans to investors to avoid losing money when students defaulted, according to the study released Friday – Washington Post
A bill to Monday-ise Waitangi and Anzac days passed its first reading in Parliament yesterday. The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment bill is designed to give New Zealanders the Monday off work if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a weekend – New Zealand Herald