Parata: tertiary focus skewed

SUE FEA IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 01/07/2013
Hekia Parata
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ
MORE RELEVANT: Education Minister Hekia Parata wants NCEA to keep evolving.

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New Zealand is in danger of experiencing a shortage of skilled tradespeople with so much focus on channelling students into university and academia pathways, Education Minister Hekia Parata said in Queenstown at the weekend.

About 70 per cent of educational resources were aimed at the 30 per cent of students who went on to university and tertiary studies.

"It's almost cheaper to get a lawyer than a plumber these days," Parata told delegates at the Independent Schools of New Zealand conference at the Millennium Queenstown on Saturday.

The Government was working hard to channel non-academic students into vocational trade and service pathways, she said.

"The backbone of New Zealand has been built on tradespeople, who then go into business and become our middle-class citizens," Parata said in an interview after the conference.

"We're in danger of being short of tradespeople.

"We're already experiencing that in Christchurch and that's why the Government is putting investment into so many programmes to address that problem."

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