Rural group welcomes polytech shake-up

A farming group has welcomed a proposal to merge all 16 of the country's polytechnics.

The concept would see the polytechnics renamed as the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology.

The idea was first proposed by Education Minister Chris Hipkins last year, when he told Newshub Nation that polytechnics across the country would likely have to merge or shut down due to low enrolment numbers.

In announcing the idea, he said the shake-up is need to gear the economy for the future.

"It highlights the need to strengthen vocational education so that those leaving school can get more training opportunities during a time when the country is facing critical skill shortages," he said.

The proposal to merge polytechnics was announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
The proposal to merge polytechnics was announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo credit: Newshub

Federated Farmers said it fully supports putting the spotlight on vocational education and looking for better solutions for all Kiwis learning on the job - especially rural Kiwis.

Federated Farmers rural education spokesperson Andrew Maclean said it provides an opportunity to look at what works in the current system, and what does not.

"There's no question the current system struggles to deliver the vocational training that the agriculture, horticulture, forestry and other land-based industries require," he said.

"We are looking forward to contributing to this discussion and will be encouraging our members to do the same, said Mr Maclean.

"We will be highlighting the importance of keeping vocational training in the regions. Teaching farming on farms, not online."

Newshub.

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