New Zealand gov't boosts vocational education

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-21 17:16:46|Editor: Yurou
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WELLINGTON, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the New Zealand government's plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.

This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins on Monday.

"We will be funding 2,000 more Trades Academy places from next year, and up to 2,000 more places for Gateway," Ardern made the announcement at a Wellington college.

"Secondary-tertiary initiatives such as Gateway and Trades Academies have helped young people getting higher qualifications and more students getting jobs when they leave school," Hipkins said.

Ardern said "We are committed to reversing the long-term decline in trades training. Trades skills shortage is a key issue business regularly raises with me and this program is one step in the government's plan to plug that gap."

"We want more people to see careers in areas like building, plumbing and agriculture as an attractive and first-option when they leave school to close the persistent skills gap in our country," the prime minster said, stressing vocational education in schools and communities around New Zealand.

Hipkins said it is the latest step in the government plan to increase the numbers of New Zealanders in trades and work skills training and sits alongside the prime minister's Vocational Excellence Awards, the introduction of micro credentials and the government's wider work to reform vocational education.

"Schools are, and will continue to be, a crucial part of vocational education," he said.

"We want schools better linked to the world of work, and for students in school to have clearer and more direct pathways into vocational education in the workplace and the tertiary system," Hipkins added.