Industry training should play greater role in preparing New Zealand school-leavers for the workforce, says the head of Industry Training Organisation, Careerforce.

With only three in ten high school-leavers going to university, post-school education should place deeper focus on industry-based training, says Chief Executive Ray Lind.

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In response to the Productivity Commission’s report, Mr Lind commends the Commission on its notable review of the tertiary education sector, however says more focus should be placed on the importance of vocational training, not just the first three years after leaving school.

“Our workforce is continually evolving and it’s important to acknowledge the dual role of industry in the tertiary education system; on the demand side as employers and on the supply side as providers of tertiary education,” Mr Lind says.

“Our young people need to access education and training throughout their careers, to minimise skills mismatching and maximise the benefit to our communities and the economy.

“Industry training can and does offer a model that enables an immediate transfer of learning, offers flexibility of delivery, and deliberately matches the supply and demand for skills since qualifications are designed for industry with employer involvement in the process.”

“Given our rapidly aging population, there is increasing demand for a skilled and competent workforce across the health and social services sector, which is where the workplace training model really shines.”

Careerforce, the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the health and wellbeing sectors, covers the non-regulated workforce in health, mental health, aged support, disability, social services, youth work, cleaning and pest management industries.

“We work with over 1,000 employers across New Zealand to design and arrange workplace based training for over 16,000 trainees,” Mr Lind says.

“These trainees are already in work and are being supported by their employer to develop and get recognition of competency that is immediately transferred/applied. The significance of this participation cannot be overstated,” Mr Lind says.

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