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Hodgson & Laban: $25m New Centre Boosts Whitireia's Trades Training

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

9 July 2008 - Whitireia Community Polytechnic is now even better placed to contribute to trades training with a brand new Industry Training Centre, Tertiary Education Minister Pete Hodgson said at the centre's official opening today where he was accompanied by Associate Economic Development Minister and Mana MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

"The Industry Training Centre is part of a long-term $25 million building programme for Whitireia Community Polytechnic. I congratulate Whitireia for taking the initiative to revamp its facilities," Pete Hodgson said.

"This building will assist in training our carpenters, plumbers, gasfitters, drain-layers, roofers, road transport operators, electrical and automotive engineers of the future - people who are vital for sustaining New Zealand's economy." Pete Hodgson said Whitireia was already known for its strong links to the Porirua community, had listened carefully to the skill needs of business and the wider community and had committed to increasing its focus on trades training.

Trades skills provided a solid platform of infrastructure that allowed New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses to compete internationally and over the last nine years this government has been working right across the board to upskill the workforce, he said.

"Industry training has been ramped up; the 16,000th Modern Apprenticeship recently got underway. But we can't rest on our laurels. The New Zealand Skills Strategy takes our response further. It will focus on the existing workforce; on literacy and numeracy, on management skills and of course trades play an important part in this. Ultimately, the New Zealand Skills Strategy is about investing in our greatest asset - our people. It's about getting people to achieve the best of their potential. At the same time we want to plan for the skill needs of the future."

Winnie Laban said Whitireia Polytechnic is characterised by a strong focus on supporting students to be successful in vocational programmes which provide pathways to employment and further study.

"With its new Industry Training Centre Whitireia is well-placed to continue to provide skilled tradespeople for our workforce."

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