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I was talking to someone the other day who is involved in the local club rugby scene.  He said there has been a major change this year.  In the past, a lot of players coming into the province would come along to play looking for help getting into labouring jobs or into the freezing works.

Now new young migrants are coming to Southland to work in trades or train in trades at SIT using the successful ZeroFees scheme.

Improving skills is a key part of the Government’s agenda for lifting New Zealand’s economic growth, and vocational training plays an important role in this. It’s all about getting much better results with the spend we make.

The Government is working closely with industry to ensure that vocational training meets the needs of those who require trainees, and to fill those skill gaps to improve our national productivity.

The period pre-Christmas is an extremely busy one for everyone – apart apparently for men, who as the old joke has it, don’t worry about how many shopping days there are until Christmas, so long as they manage to get out before the shops close on Christmas Eve.

It was a busy time in Parliament last week in the run-up to Christmas, tidying up the odds and ends of legislation on Saturday.

One of the Bills that was passed was the Education Amendment Bill (no 2) which, amongst other things, allows for the development of trades academies for Year 11-13 pupils.

New Zealand, and particularly Southland, faces a trade training shortage.  This new law will give Year 11-13 students a leg up into trades.  In Southland, it means those students who might otherwise leave school for lack of opportunities now have more choices.

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Authorised by Eric Roy, 97 Dee St, Invercargill

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