Parliament scrutinises Skills for Canterbury

Posted By TEU on Jul 26, 2012 |

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:

  1. 26 for Babies – coalition launched to extend paid parental leave
  2. Challenging general staff myths
  3. New TEU president will need to stand up and be heard
  4. Department of Labour advice shows employment law changes unfair
  5. When courses are free online, what’s left to sell?

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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

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