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Training changes worry NZ printers

Wednesday, 03 April 2019
By Jake Nelson

Proposed NZ government changes could severely impact print training, says PrintNZ.

A proposal to abolish industry training organisations in New Zealand has alarmed printers, with industry association PrintNZ calling on members to speak out against the move.

The changes would see industry training organisations such as Competenz disbanded, and the responsibility for arranging training moved to a centralised New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Ruth Cobb, general manager of PrintNZ, has described it as a “radical change” that could slow down training numbers.

Concerned: Ruth Cobb, general manager PrintNZ.

“This has the potential to cause substantial disruption to training in our industry which could result in a downturn in the number of businesses willing to train, and we need as many businesses as possible to write to the Minister to have their views heard,” she said.

Cobb also expressed concern that polytechnics would have limited understanding of the needs of the print industry.

“Training is best placed to occur in the workplace for print, because of the capital investment required. The proposal also doesn’t recognise the financial contribution employers make to trainees through the provision of resources, trainers, time investment, wages, and equipment.

“We are nervous that this would see a substantial cost increase for training in our industry,” she said.

PrintNZ has sent a draft letter to members and urged them to write to the Ministry of Education opposing the changes, pointing out that significant overhauls create industry uncertainty.

“When substantial reform was undertaken twenty years ago and the ITOs were initially established, training numbers dropped to one third of what they were and it has taken a lengthy period of time to return them to where they currently are, and where they need to remain if we wish to avoid major skills shortages in coming years,” she said.

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