"Due to the range of factors influencing an individual's employment, the ministry cannot directly link specific types of training programmes to an employment outcome," he said
This is a mind-boggling statement from Hughes. In fact it's hard to believe he said it. The ministry doesn't analyse the costs and results of training provision? If that's true, it's an absurd dereliction of accountability. Or is the ministry now simply using expensive training programmes as an easy worktest measure without hope or expectation of any employment outcome?
In my day, this was absolutely not true. Measures of sorts were in place to evaluate the effectiveness of training programes at both the local and national level. Many training providers were paid and/or re-contracted on the basis of their ability to generate employment outcomes.
The measurement system was a fertile area for staff and manager rorts. The brownie point was scored when a client found a job within x, y or z weeks after training. This was called an assisted self-placement ASP). Audits of training ASPs, virtually non-existant in WINZ but common in its predecessor, the NZ Employment Service, invariably showed perverse use - sometimes innocent but often deliberate - of this measure. So much so, that few outcomes could be reliably attributed to training. NZES audits commonly disqualified 75-80% of claimed outcomes.
Perhaps this is what Hughes means - that:
"training programmes are so useless at producing employment outcomes, we''ll scrap any notion of trying to measure their value in employment terms. Besides, we don't want their uselessness accurately measured and reported in the Christchurch Press, do we"?
" and we've always got the mantra to fall back on that reading, writing and arithmetric will come in handy one day over the rainbow".
Seems to me that training is now just a form of worktest coercion.