The Salvation Army’s Mixed Fortunes report confirms TEU’s analysis that regions are missing out, says TEU national president Sandra Grey.
New Zealand’s regional polytechnics have suffered tens of millions of dollars of funding cuts in the last half a decade. But Grey says they can still help fix the regional divide.
“We need to rebuild our regional polytechnics to give young people in rural and regional New Zealand a chance to get the skills and education opportunities they need to get a job, and rebuild their communities.”
Regional polytechnics have a central role to play in undoing the social dislocation and social harm that the Salvation Army identifies in its report.
“It does cost more to provide opportunities like skills training, vocational education, degrees, and adult literacy to rural and regional communities. After all, they don’t have the big numbers of students that city tertiary education institutions have. But we cannot leave those people behind just because it costs more.”
As part of the Salvation Army’s call for a cross-party accord on regional well-being, we need to agree as a country that we will invest more to keep our regional communities strong and healthy.
“Thanks to Ang Wickham at Flickr for the photo – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Whanganui_River_to_Dublin_Street_Bridge.jpg#/media/File:Whanganui_River_to_Dublin_Street_Bridge.jpg