9 October, 2012
Skilled and Safe Workplace report launched
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce today released the Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces progress report - highlighting government actions to help materially lift labour productivity, drive sustained economic growth and deliver higher wages and living standards to New Zealanders.
"This report brings together all the changes the Government is making to lift the productivity of our New Zealand workforce so as a country we can sustain higher real wages," Mr Joyce says.
"There are 62 separate actions that Government and its agencies are delivering. It is easily the most comprehensive programme seen in this country to lift skills, achievement and productivity."
"Taking together the work to boost school results, help young people who aren't achieving, strengthen tertiary and vocational education, reform the benefit system to get more people into work, improve workplace safety, and ensure the immigration system and our employment laws are working for New Zealanders – it adds up to an extensive agenda to lift this country's skill base and our productivity.
"And we are making great progress. NCEA Level 2 achievement is up, tertiary results are up, Youth Guarantee is achieving great results, and the number of people on benefits is coming down. However there is much more to do and the Government is very focused on following through on our plans."
The Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces Progress Report is the third of six being released detailing all actions in the Government's Business Growth Agenda. Other reports released so far are Building Export Markets and Building Innovation.
"Lifting New Zealand's labour productivity also involves achieving results in other areas of the Government's Business Growth Agenda – for instance through innovation, and capital investment by firms, by allowing greater use of resources, and through well planned and delivered public infrastructure," Mr Joyce says.
The Skilled and Safe Workplaces report outlines how key targets will be achieved through education, vocational training, improved workplace safety, improving the responsiveness of the job market, moving more people from benefits into work and attracting a skilled workforce. It links clearly with the relevant Better Public Service targets.
"New Zealand is known for its skilled workforce but we need to do more to maintain our advantage given the labour market is increasingly global and we are competing with the growing Asian economies, in particular China and India. Competition for skilled migrants will also increase as countries compete to fill labour gaps left by aging populations," Mr Joyce says.
Government targets in the seven initiative areas include:
- Lifting The Achievements of Young People (target: in 2017, 85% of 18 year olds will have NCEA level 2 or equivalent compared to 74% in 2011)
- Strengthening Tertiary Education and Delivering Vocational Education and Training That Lifts Skills (target: 55% of 25 to 34 year olds with a level 4 qualification or above in 2017 compared to 52% currently)
- Moving People off Benefits and into Work (target: reduced the number of long-term beneficiaries on job seeker support by 30% to 55,000 by 2017)
- Make Workplaces Safe (reduce fatalities and serious injuries by at least 25% by 2020)
- Attracting Skilled Migrants and Investors (by 2016 85% of skilled migrants will be employed in a job that matches their skills and qualifications compared to 81% now)
- Making the Job Market More Responsive (maintaining NZ's top four ranking in OECD countries with lowest share of people who are unemployed for six months or more)
The Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces report is available at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/%20what-we-do/business-growth-agenda/skilled-safe-workplaces