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Labour will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence

A Labour Government will set up Centres of Vocational Excellence to boost training and innovation in industries that are vital to our economy and our regions, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics play a crucial role in ensuring our workforce has the skills and training to meet the needs of the labour market and drive innovation in New Zealand. They also act as economic ‘anchors’ of the regions they serve.

“However, the National Government has cut an estimated $60 million funding to regional polytechnics since 2010. Along with an overemphasis on university degree qualifications, vocational and trade training is not getting the support it deserves as a core part of growing the economy.

“To restore the capability of and confidence in our Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, Labour will make significant investment in Polytechnics and industry training.

“We will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence based at these institutions to support collaboration with industry, businesses and the local community.  They will ensure education and training in core areas is high quality, innovative and relevant.

“Priority will be given to regional institutions which have existing expertise in an industry or sector, or to regions which already have a significant industry footprint. We will also be seeking a commitment to working with Industry Training Organisations, businesses and other economic agencies.

“Labour will commit $40 million over four years with the aim of having ten centres set up by the end of our first term. The final criteria and process for deciding the location and focus of these centres will be agreed in consultation with institutions and industry training organisations.

“A skilled and adaptable workforce is a vital part of the Economic Upgrade that Labour will deliver to New Zealand. These Centres of Vocational Excellence will play an important part in giving the vocational training sector the status it deserves and fostering the collaboration we need to lift our productivity and create better jobs and higher wages,” Grant Robertson says.

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