The Wellbeing Budget

Building a productive nation

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Reform of vocational education

The Government is committed to lifting the status, quality and access to vocational education and training.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins is leading this critical reform, which is needed to increase the number of people in vocational training and the number of apprentices training on the job.

"There is a national shortage of skilled tradespeople across many industry sectors and our vocational education system is not keeping up," Chris Hipkins says.

"New Zealand needs a lot more people in vocational education. We need both on-the-job and off-the-job training to be higher quality, easier to navigate for learners and employers, more coordinated, and for employers to have more say in setting out the skills they need.

"For New Zealand to become a more productive country and for learners to have more opportunities to get ahead, it is vital for us to get this right. That means working with iwi, regional leadership, industry groups and businesses to achieve the sustainable outcomes we are seeking," Chris Hipkins says.

We are currently considering feedback from consultation and we know we need to provide resources for this change.

Underspending on the Fees Free programme will go towards implementing the reform of vocational education.

The Government initially budgeted for Fees Free at the upper end of potential demand and we are now in a position to re-allocate an estimated $197.1 million of the funding to another part of tertiary education.

The wellbeing approach in action – Industry 4.0 and the Future of Work

As the nature of work changes the Government wants to stay ahead of the curve and make sure New Zealanders have the skills they need to adapt. Ensuring a just transition to the future of work is a priority area for the Government.

This means working across sectors to develop policies that help New Zealanders make the most of the rapidly changing digital world.

Budget 2019 includes $6.2 million of operating and $0.6 million of capital funding for an Industry 4.0 demonstration network with up to two 'smart factories'. This will help employers make sure they are ready for the future as well.

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