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BusinessNZ Praises Skills For Canterbury

( ‘Skills for Canterbury’ essential for the rebuild.

The Budget’s focus on skills to rebuilding Christchurch is well-placed, says BusinessNZ.

Budget funding for trades training for the Canterbury region announced today includes more construction-related places to be available at polytechs and other training institutions.

It also includes using ‘commitment to training’ as a criterion for businesses gaining government reconstruction contracts, and a stop-gap provision for employers to import high-skilled workers if New Zealanders can’t be trained in time.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says this is a balanced response by the Government.

“Dedicated funding for construction training sends the message that skills are a critical part of the rebuild.

“Incentivising training by business by making it a criterion for gaining government reconstruction contracts is useful as it helps to make businesses part of the skills solution.

“And being able to import high-skilled workers where New Zealanders can’t be trained in time is sensible, although we probably need the leeway to import semi-skilled people also, given the critical scarcity of skills at all levels in the construction sector.

“This approach could be usefully extended to the construction sector nation-wide, as the scarcity of building skills is not just a Canterbury problem.”

Media Release 12 May 2011 from BusinessNZ.



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