The Government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on managing the tertiary education reforms rather than targeting that funding where it’s needed most, at students, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The Government has set aside $276 million for managing the reforms that will merge all polytechnics into one mega polytechnic and take the responsibility of managing apprenticeships away from industry.

“None of this funding will directly benefit students and is mostly going to management in multiple workforce development councils and regional leadership groups.

“This is a huge amount of money to be spending on management especially when we’re facing down a significant economic crisis.

“Thousands of New Zealanders have lost their jobs and many may have to re-train into a different industry. This money should be going towards students and their education, rather than pure bureaucracy.

“The Government should be getting rid of its ideological vocational reforms, it’s only going to make it harder to deliver trades and apprenticeships at a time when it should be making it easier.

“At the same time, students support hardship only received $20 million. Many students are trying to catch up on their education after it was impacted by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, they need that support.

“It’s not enough to just spend money, it needs to be spent in a targeted way that will ensure success. This Government isn’t showing it knows how to do that. It should publish how many new management positions have been created for the reforms and how much that costs today and in the next five years.

“National would remove wasteful layers of management created under the mega polytechnic reforms and use that money to support students and skills. National is the only team that can guide New Zealand out of this economic hole.”

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