National to undo Government’s tertiary reforms

National has vigorously opposed the Government’s Reform of Vocational Education (ROVE) and has confirmed at the Southern Institute of Technology today that it would return regional education back to the regions, undoing a significant part of the reforms, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye and Tertiary Education spokesperson Dr Shane Reti say.

“This incompetent Government’s tertiary reforms will gut New Zealand’s regional education,” Ms Kaye says.

“The reforms were already putting polytechnic jobs under threat and now with the Government refusing to work on reopening international education, more will be on the line. A National Government would unwind these reforms within our first 100 days.

“We should be focused on supporting New Zealanders who are retraining and ensuring there are jobs available to them, not making things worse.

“National has vigorously opposed these reforms. We believe industry is the best at organising industry training and a National Government would return the arranging of vocation training to industry. We will return all remaining assets taken by this Government as part of centralising polytechnics and return them to the regions,” Ms Kaye says.

“While there needs to be some reconfiguring of the polytechnic sector, high performing polytechnics like SIT should be left to do what they have been doing well,” Dr Reti says.

“Rather than undermining the expertise of the regions, we should be building confidence and trust in them to deliver within their communities. National would return the all-important regional autonomy and decision making back to the regions.

“The Government’s reforms are only going to make it harder to deliver trades and apprenticeships.

“National is the only party who will save regional polytechnics and make sure they keep their assets and autonomy.

“New Zealand is facing an economic crisis like no other ever seen, National would be focused on protecting and creating jobs and supporting Kiwis who are re-training into new industries,” Dr Reti says.

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