one of the worst things to come out of the recent budget is the cut in funding to the adult and community education sector. it's a cut of 80% to services other than literacy, a total of $16 million. the result for the waikato region alone is a direct loss of 230 jobs, according to this article. this is because the services here do not believe they can survive the funding cut:
"With a severe cut like this we are not going to be able to survive," she said.
Mrs Ginever said the 80 per cent cut, leaving 20 per cent for numeracy and literacy courses, was a flawed plan. "At the moment our other courses are paying for literacy courses. People who want to do literacy haven't got money to pay for courses."
just think about the majority of the people who will be affected by this. it will be lower income earners who want to upskill themselves. it will be people who didn't do well at school when they were young, but want to turn their lives around. it will be women who have been out of the work force and want to retrain. these courses make a significant difference to the well-bing of many people. they provide value that is far beyond pure economics.
in addition to these cuts are the cuts to industry training organisations (halved from 2011), the gutting of funding for the training part of the 9-day fortnight proposal (which was the main point of the whole thing), cuts to scholarships, and much more. all this from a government that wants to improve productivity, which requires a higher skilled workforce (of course, the easier way to do it is by increasing unemployment and lowering output).
more on the topic here.