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New Zealand

Boosting workplace literacy and numeracy training - Ardern and Hipkins

More New Zealanders will be supported through literacy and numeracy training in the workplace, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

"This extra support is part of a wider Government commitment to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders and to lift productivity. It is part of our ongoing work to tackle the long-term challenges this country faces," Jacinda Ardern says.

"This is another initiative that has come out of the Government’s Tripartite Future of Work Forum.

"Automation and artificial intelligence are increasingly affecting jobs meaning New Zealand needs a population with high-level literacy and numeracy skills to build a high-productivity, high-wage economy and an inclusive society where everyone can participate."

The new funding of $14.5 million over four years means the Government will contribute nearly $45 million to the employer-led workplace literacy and numeracy fund between 2019 and 2022.

"We need to do a lot more to lift adult literacy and numeracy, particularly in lower-skilled occupations. But we also know people have busy lives and that a lack of time is the most common reason they in are not participating in training," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

"Increasing resources for on-the-job literacy and numeracy training is a practical way of opening more doors and supporting New Zealand businesses and workers for the future of work.

"We’re making comprehensive changes to vocational education, including ramping up on-the-job training, and the extra funding means we can also look more closely at the benefits of embedding literacy and numeracy in other training.

"Putting a bigger focus on literacy and numeracy is something employers have told us they want, starting in schools.

"Through the changes we’re making in the NCEA, it’ll be clearer to employers that a learner has met a standardised benchmark, so they can have confidence that the NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements are credible and reliable," Chris Hipkins said.

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