Tertiary cuts make skills shortage worse

National is making the skills shortage worse with their moves to restrict access to tertiary education, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Steven Joyce is turning a deaf ear to industry leaders who are crying out for skilled workers.

“Instead of increasing access to skills training, under National a large number of tertiary courses have seen big drops in numbers, including vital trade and pre-trade courses. A lot of these courses led directly to employment or onto further study. National’s cuts are driven by penny-pinching, not education, and are making it harder for employers to get the skills they need.

“Some adult learners need foundation skills before they can attempt more advanced study or training. Some will have left school with few or no qualifications and now the door to a second chance is being slammed in their face.

“A whole generation of New Zealanders received their tertiary education more or less free and now they are reaching retirement age they are reliant on the next generation to pay tax to support that retirement. Now us a good time to invest in the education of the next generation,” says Chris Hipkins.

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