Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The Government’s decision to cut $32 million from polytechnics will impact on education in Manukau and see valuable staff lose their jobs, says Labour MP for Māngere, Su’a William Sio.
The Government has stopped funding foundation courses at a number of polytechnics across the country, instead handing the programmes over to private providers. This has led to courses and student places being cut with widespread job losses in communities including Manukau.
“The Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is looking to cut courses and staff in its English, foundation studies, business services, horticulture, automotive and trades schools – including carpentry – as a result of a the Tertiary Education Commission’s resolution to cut the polytechnic’s funding for 400 full-time students.
“I understand an equivalent of 25 full-time staff, on top of the 50 MIT already lost ,will be shed as a direct result of government funding cuts.
“While there are some excellent private training providers out there who’ve won the contracts to deliver foundation courses, I am concerned to hear that a private training company, contracted to deliver level 1 & 2 programmes, has asked MIT for their programmes and facilities to run these courses.
“That’s a kick in the teeth for MIT staff and for our public education system.
“MIT has a strong reputation in foundation studies especially in the trades. To have these courses scrapped and replaced with a company who doesn’t seem able to administer the course without assistance is bizarre.
“MIT offers important entry-level opportunities for adults looking to get a leg up in a new occupation or for young people who left high school early and are returning to study. Any weakening of those opportunities without good reason is concerning.
“I think the community deserves an explanation as to the rationale behind this decision. It seems obvious that this government is taking education in the wrong direction,” Su’a William Sio said.