Disadvantaged Motor Trade Trainees to Get Priority

  • Brian Donnelly
Associate Minister of Education (Early Childhood Education and Maori Education)

Motor trade trainees expecting to complete their National Certificate this year are to get priority access to off-job training.

The Associate Minister of Education Brian Donnelly said he was concerned the trainees were being disadvantaged by an upheaval in the Motor Industry Training Organisation over the funding of off-job training. This training is often provided by polytechnics or private training establishments.

Course entitlements have been halved this year. As a result, some trainees might not have been able to complete their qualification this year and others would take longer to finish.

Because the Motor ITO will be purchasing fewer courses some Polytechnics were considering withdrawing motor trade training.

"I am concerned that some 700 trainees could suffer as a result of the revised funding arrangement the Motor ITO has negotiated with The Education and Training Support Agency," Mr Donnelly said. "As a result, ETSA will require, through its funding agreement with MITO from July 1, that priority access to off-job training be given to trainees expecting to complete their National certificate in 1998."

This direction may result in new entrants to training having to queue to get their first block course.

MITO had tried to maintain a much higher level of subsidy from ETSA than any other ITO but, to meet its funding shortfall, it had halved to 12 weeks the off-job element of its National Certificate.

Mr Donnelly said that comparable trade ITOs provided eight to 15 weeks of off-job training for a national certificate.

MITO will receive $3.7 million this year from ETSA to purchase off-job training.