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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

John Key Misses Obvious Answer-Apprenticeships

While National Party leader John Key, has his heart in the right place, today's policy announcements on addressing youth crime and educational under-achievement miss the boat.

Educational allowances for 16 to 18 year olds and boot camps for young offenders will simply end up subsidising dodgy educational ventures and giving the army a headache it doesn't need.

The real answer is to revive what National almost destroyed in the early '90s-the apprenticeship system.

New Zealand's apprenticeship system trained some of the world's best tradesmen for over 100 years.

It gave hundreds of thousands of young men and women a chance for a better future.

It gave them hope, discipline and a trade.

It gave young people an extended period of non parental adult guidance and kept many thousands of at "at risk" youth on the right track.

It gave this country one of the most skilled workforces in the world.

What was it replaced with?

A network of private and public training organisations designed to extract the maximum amount of student loan money out of vulnerable teens in exhange for certificates of dubious value.

A lost generation of kids, either unemployed, working in dead end jobs, or up to their neck in debt with student loans.

It also gave the country a huge skills shortage.

ACT campaigned to revive apprenticeships in 2005, but few were listening to ACT in that election.

Hopefully ACT will campaign on the issue again in 2008.

Please check out this 2005 three part series I wrote on apprenticeships and how to revive them.

Part 1 here, Part 2 here, part 3 here

Comments welcome.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Also reckon we had a good thing going when polytechs provided solid, practical trade training and weren't trying to be pseudo-universities.

Plumbing is the most basic foundation of civilisation, after all.

Ciao,

Sam Buchanan

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The real answer is to revive what National almost destroyed in the early '90s-the apprenticeship system."

I totally agree, but isn't that a bit of an ask for us to somehow accept that the end of the apprenticeship culture was a National thing.

Currently thinking is that it was Rogernomics that set about the destruction of the apprenticeship culture, trade training, due to the 100,000s of layoffs that resulted from restructuring.

The majority of apprenticeships were in those Govt institutions and ministries like the P & T, powerboard, rail, forestry and roads.

I would have thought that National had something to do with it 'as well', but come on Trevor, pointing to National while not making any mention of the real culprit being none other than the foundational members of your political party is subterfuge mate.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Thanks sam-nice we can agree on something.

Anon-I brought national into it because I think it is hard for them to backtrack because they were a major part of the mistake,

It is fair to say that apprenticeships took a huge hit in the "80s as railways etc underwent huge staff cuts.

However this was an unfortunate bye-product, not an intention of the reforms.

It was Natioanl in the '90s that brought in "seamless education" as a replacement for apprenticeships.

This in my opinion the worst move.

If ACT people were somehow to blame for this disaster, then shame on them, but the main point is what to do about it now.

Restoring a widespread and copmprehensive apprenticeship system will be good for all of us.

Politics aside, I think we can all agree on that.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

C'mon Trevor - "Politics aside....." you say.

That's plain disingenuous of you. When it suits you (which is just about all the time) you're right into the "politics".

As evidenced by your careless, inaccurate ("just say it.....") accusations, your profiling as "contemptible socialist sleepers" people who decades ago gave up mild left-wing fascinations, and your obscene, black dancing on the grave of Syd Jackson.

Typically dishonest, spinning, two percenter right winger. The "I think therefore it is" mob.

So enough of your pretensions to erudite, avuncular status. You're essentially a "hater".....no better.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you're a semi-literate mouth-foaming cheer leader for the most hideously repressive and evil systems of 'goverment' that mankind has ever known.

You're essentially a "hater".....no better.

But pleae, keep posting 'steve'. I like to laugh at you.

EXOCET

12:34 PM  

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