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Business is not keen on Labour's work plan

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/11/2016

A subsidy for businesses to build capacity for training might be more practical. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images A subsidy for businesses to build capacity for training might be more practical. Labour's plans to tackle workforce issues have got the thumbs down from New Zealand business.

BusinessNZ says Labour's proposal to tax employers who are not providing training would be a blunt instrument that would not fix the problem of skills shortages.

"The underlying problem is that many employers can't get New Zealand staff, whether skilled or unskilled - and if they can't get them, they can't train them," says chief executive Kirk Hope.

He says the proposal raises the issue of whether small businesses have the capacity to deliver training.

A subsidy for businesses to build capacity for training might be more practical.

"New Zealand businesses are practically all small businesses and they are not set up to be training establishments," he said.

Business appreciates that a large number of young people are not in employment, education or training.

"However, taxing small businesses because they can't find New Zealand staff does not help this and other issues involved in the complex area of skill shortages," he said.

Labour released a Future of Work Commission report on Saturday that recommended a skills shortage levy on businesses that don't provide training for staff.

It also recommended providing six weeks of free training to workers made redundant by automation, abolishing secondary tax that affects those with multiple jobs and a range of other measures.

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