WELLINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- More New Zealanders will be supported through literacy and numeracy training in workplace, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.
This extra support is part of a wider government commitment to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders and to lift productivity, Ardern said in a statement, adding that it is part of ongoing work to tackle the long-term challenges the country faces.
"Automation and artificial intelligence are increasingly affecting jobs meaning New Zealand needs a population with high-level literacy and numeracy skills to build a high-productivity, high-wage economy and an inclusive society where everyone can participate," the prime minister said.
The new funding of 14.5 million New Zealand dollars (9.25 million U.S. dollars) over four years means the government will contribute nearly 45 million New Zealand dollars to the employer-led workplace literacy and numeracy fund between 2019 and 2022.
"We need to do a lot more to lift adult literacy and numeracy, particularly in lower-skilled occupations. But we also know people have busy lives and that a lack of time is the most common reason they are not participating in training," said Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
Increasing resources for on-the-job literacy and numeracy training is a practical way of opening more doors and supporting New Zealand businesses and workers for the future of work, Hipkins said.
"We're making comprehensive changes to vocational education, including ramping up on-the-job training, and the extra funding means we can also look more closely at the benefits of embedding literacy and numeracy in other training," he added.