PGF delivers more jobs and skills training for the regions

The Coalition Government is again delivering for jobs and skills training in Otago and Southland through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today.

“A total investment of over $3.5 million from the PGF will help close to 1,500 people become work-ready,” Shane Jones said.

“Funding of $1.85 million over four years will help establish Workforce Central Dunedin’s construction industry Jobs and Skills Hub, which will support the construction of the much-needed new Dunedin Hospital.

While the hub will initially support the hospital build, it can also provide services and support broader outcomes for the construction sector beyond that build.

“I’d like to thank the local agencies and the local building industry who have recognised the importance of such a facility, and committed to keeping this hub running beyond the hospital’s construction phase.

“The project will upskill and support more than 300 local people into work on the hospital build, and at least a further 900 people will be engaged and supported into training, education or employment.

“The new hub, based initially near the site of the new hospital, will be modelled on similar facilities based in Auckland.

“Additionally, $1.86 million over two years has been committed to set up a pilot for the NZ Shearing Training Model programme, to develop and deliver a sustainable, integrated training model for the shearing and wool handling industry.

“This programme will use micro credentialing, ‘earn-as-you-learn’, and upskilling for up to 150 new shearers and 120 existing shearers. It will target school leavers, unemployed and underemployed people, career changers and those in the industry who would like to learn new skills. 

“The programme will initially include two pilot schemes in the Tairāwhiti/Hawke’s Bay and Otago/Southland areas, where it will also establish centres of excellence for expert training in shearing and wool handling.

“The industry has identified a need for more hands-on training to go with the paper-based qualifications currently used in the industry.

“This project is the first step towards meeting that need,” Shane Jones said.