Education and Training

Executive Summary

New Zealand has a strong public education system we can be proud of. However it’s held back by a focus on qualification attainment which rubs up against providing individual education pathways for our students. With job changes becoming more frequent and entire industries changing we need a more resilient and adaptable workforce. This means not just educating people for what they need for tomorrow but also teaching them to learn to learn so lifelong learning is a reality.

The formal education system needs to better prepare students for life beyond school. This means more personalised learning to teach creativity, innovation, teamwork, collaboration, problem solving and communication skills, rather than just subjects. It also means we need to improve access to technology, as well as better utilising technology such as free online learning for tertiary study.

The education system will need to become more responsive to meet career needs in 5, 10 or 20 years’ time. We need better guidance and careers advice for students, to make sure employers are actually involved in the learning process rather than being passive recipients, and to ensure the transition between school and work or industry training is improved. Lifelong learning should be promoted so people have opportunities to reskill and refocus throughout their lives.

Industry training is a critical part of an active labour market. We need to look at whether the current model of industry training and apprenticeships is delivering the type of skills needed. This may mean adding obligations on employers to provide training with Government support, and further developing the apprenticeship system.


  • What do you see as the opportunities for education and training?

  • What do you see as the challenges to improving learning?

  • What policy solutions should Labour be looking at to improve learning?

  • What do you think of the issues and proposals raised in this paper? 



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