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Government Support Needed To Retrain Unemployed

January 8, 2009

EIT Hawke’s Bay is calling on the Government to support its plan to retrain the region’s recently unemployed for new jobs.

“With unemployment predicted to rise to 5.7 percent by early 2010, we must invest in the skills of our recently unemployed to help them find new jobs,” said EIT chief executive Chris Collins.

“We’ve outlined a plan to Government showing how we can tackle our rising unemployment rates by offering retraining.

“What we’re talking about is offering a six-month or 12-month course building on existing skills or learning new skills for an emerging local industry – and it’s these skills our recently unemployed need to help them get a new job.”

Mr Collins says the benefits for retraining are significant.

“Not only will we be supporting people who have recently lost their job back into the workforce, we’ll also be providing a much-needed skills boost for an upturning economy.

“We’re calling on Government support to help our people boost their skills so they can successfully re-enter the workforce.”

Mr Collins says of all New Zealand’s tertiary institutes – both public and private – ITPs are the best placed to respond because they have the capability and flexibility to respond immediately to further investment in skills training.

“Our regional focus means that we also have a track record of working with local government, employers and unions in the communities we operate in – so we can be counted on to work with our communities to provide this training.”

As an example of its responsiveness to local economy needs, EIT went online this year with its distance Bachelor of Wine Science and Bachelor of Viticulture programmes, providing further study flexibility for degree students wanting to continue in full-time jobs.

“Coupled with the Prime Minister’s election commitment to provide financial support for people who’ve lost their jobs as a result of recession until they find more work, we think this plan is an excellent approach to support Kiwis to get back into the workforce,” says Mr Collins.