Minister defends quake rebuild training progress

7:42 am on 21 June 2012

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce is defending the Government's efforts to train skilled tradespeople needed for the Canterbury earthquake rebuild.

The Labour Party says the Government spent only $7 million of the $42 million it allocated last year for skills training in Canterbury.

Labour MP Grant Robertson says this shows the Government is content to import tradespeople from overseas rather than train New Zealanders.

He says with the slow pace of the rebuild, now is the time for the Government to start subsidising employers to take on trades apprentices.

However Mr Joyce says the Government is working with employers and training institutions to ensure they're meeting market demand for tradespeople as the rebuild happens.

"Weirdly, I don't define success by how quickly I can spend taxpayers money.

"I define success by what we're actually achieving, and if we can achieve it without spending all the dough then that's absolutely the best outcome."