National Johnny-come-lately to need for apprenticeships
The Government’s new found enthusiasm for apprenticeships would be more convincing if it was not four years late, says David Shearer.
“Modern Apprenticeships have declined by 20 per cent under National. The Government has sat back and watched trades-training wither at a time of growing unemployment and in the face of the desperate need for skilled workers for the Christchurch rebuild.
“Any move to increase the number of apprenticeships is welcome, but this is too little too late. The lack of apprenticeships is a direct result of four years of inaction from John Key and National.
Labour is also questioning whether the Government is using smoke and mirrors to artificially inflate its claim of an extra 14,000 apprenticeships over five years.
“National is desperately trying to rebrand and redefine apprenticeships, so that the programme will include other existing forms of industry training. That’s a cute trick, but won’t necessarily mean more people are getting trained.
“This is just tinkering from a Government that is asleep at the wheel. John Key’s speech was a series of re-announcements and recycled policies.
“How many times can the Prime Minister re-announce his intention to reform the Resource Management Act and pretend it is an economic plan? Today’s speech contained no fresh thinking or big ideas to get the economy back on track.
“It was the same tired, hands-off approach that has delivered an unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent, stagnant growth and a housing affordability crisis.
“In my speech on Sunday I’ll show New Zealanders there is a better way. Only Labour has the guts to get stuck in and make real change.
“The time has come for a hands-on Government, not more of the same from a National Government that has run out of ideas,” says David Shearer.