More to Trade Training Than Funding
New Conservative is pleased that the government is acknowledging the importance of trade training.
The importance of skilled, qualified tradespeople is a priority for New Zealand and addressing the shortage has broad benefits.
“There is an opportunity here to totally transform how we treat and value the trades and how we can use the trades to keep young people engaged in education,” says New Conservative leader Leighton Baker, “but the Government’s focus on altering the funding model will not achieve the results needed.”
Past governments have treated the trades as the “dropout zone” for those incapable of achieving a higher education. As a result the New Zealand education system has been geared towards students moving through to a university education.
“It cannot be ignored that it is the trades that supply the essentials of life like food, shelter, and clothing,” says Baker.
By recognising the essential nature of the trades, pathways can be established that encourage young people to utilise the skills they have and keep them engaged.
New Conservative strongly believes the establishment of trade based schools, where pupils from Year 9 can opt to learn trade skills alongside numeracy and literacy, needs to be a priority. This model has proven success in the charter school models and overseas.
“This option will keep more young people in the education system and will mean they leave school with the skills necessary to move straight into on-site training,” says Baker.
On-site training could then be funded by Kiwi-saver contributions from both the employee and employer going towards training costs thereby relieving the taxpayer of another cost while allowing local training providers to develop the training required specific to their community and business needs.
With over 30 years in the trades and vast experience in working with youth to gain skill training and training apprentices, Leighton Baker can speak confidently on how this type of education can be effective.
“Training and education should be locally based and controlled as this encourages community engagement and support. It is for this reason New Conservative wants to preserve Charter schools and develop trade schools,” says Baker.