If we wanted to see just how Australia’s budget set it on a path to further outstrip NZ, take a look at the priorities they set in the area of skills. I’ve divided their figures by 5 – Australia’s population is about 22m against our 4.3 – to get a very rough approximation for what this kind of investment might look like in NZ.
- $500 m ($3b in Australia) over 6 years to upskill the workforce
- $110m ($558m) to a new National Workforce Development Fund for 130,000 industry training places
- $40m (100m) on apprenticeships.
Will National’s budget come anywhere near to putting the same investment into skills and training? Well, I’m not holding my breath. But if you wanted the evidence to see the gap grow wider, here it is.