The Tertiary Education Union Te Hautū Kahurangi welcomes the pre-budget announcement of $197 million for the reform of vocational education saying it’s a step in the right direction.

President Michael Gilchrist says TEU has been working hard alongside Labour to ensure that in the long term students and communities have access to quality on-job and on-campus courses.

“The training of plumbers, nurses, social workers, builders, mechanics, and many more professions is central to the goals Labour has set itself. Labour’s desire to focus on ensuring the well-being of workers and their families was looking shaky because tertiary education training spaces were looking shaky. But now we have a glimpse of a brighter future.”  

At his pre-Budget speech today, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said announced the reallocation of $197 million from the underspend on the fees free policy to implementing reform of the vocational education.

“We are pleased to see a government that will put money back into our sector”, says Gilchrist.

The fees-free scheme is an important step to ensuring accessibility of access to education and should be extended in the coming years. But stabilising institutions during the vocational education reform is crucial if every New Zealander is able to find a place to learn.

Gilchrist says “putting funding into vocational spaces is a good start to ensuring the  transformational power of education reaches all corners of NZ.  But it is just a start.”

“We urge the government to ensure that in 2020 it begins to rebuild the tertiary education budget which was stripped bare during the term of the last National Government.  Students have been struggling to live and staff have taken on more and more work because of the last government’s tertiary education budget approach which left the sector $6bn short.”

Contact: Michael Gilchrist (TEU President) 027 899 4256