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Today’s Budget shows the Government is more focused on handing out cash than making sure all New Zealanders have the skills to compete in our workforce, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“The education sector has not secured an adequate proportion of funding needed to rebuild, which suggests the Government does not see it at the centre of our country’s recovery.

“We should be seeing more support for young people to catch up on their education after it was impact by Covid-19, but we’re not.

“The Government should be getting rid of its ideological vocational reforms, which will make it hard to deliver trades and apprenticeships, but it’s not.

“By the Government’s own figures we need billions to get ahead of growth and upgrade classrooms. We should be seeing more invested in school infrastructure, but we’re not.

“The Government has failed to deliver business-as-usual investment, let alone a major education infrastructure stimulus package. It has managed to deliver Fees Free but with fewer students.

“The Government’s one-size-fits-all food assistance scheme is poorly targeted and does not partner with organisations that have the infrastructure to be able to deliver this.

“National knows the impact Covid-19 has had on our students, parents, schools and the tertiary sector. In today’s Budget the Government should have:

  • Adequately addressed the financial viability of schools, ECE and tertiary institutions
  • Demonstrated a plan for providing opportunities to re-train and upskill for people who have lost their job, and backed it with adequate investment
  • Ditched its ideological vocational reforms that will distract from our rebuild, such as the hugely disruptive polytechnic mega-merger
  • Partnered with the private sector to deliver the skills we’ll need to grow our way back to prosperity

“We need to be intensely focused on powering up our education system and targeting support where it’s needed, not pushing an ideological agenda at the expense of the taxpayer.

“Many New Zealanders have lost their jobs and will need to re-train. A focused and stable education system will be key in this. National is the only team with the track record of delivering. We will get New Zealand working again.”

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