A new university forum is being held at Trent University this week, with one university economist arguing that the economy will benefit from the government’s investment in tertiary education.
Auckland University’s Paul Daley said that “every dollar spent on tertiary tertiary enrolments will pay for more jobs in the tertiary sector”.
“The university sector will be able to support more people,” he said.
The first edition of the TU Forum will be held at 5pm today (NZT) at the University of Auckland’s building at 4.20pm (NZS).
There will be three rounds of the forum, with a total of 30 participants, and will be streamed live online.
Participants will also be able ask questions of the panelists and have the chance to get answers.
The panel will include university economist Paul Dally, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, former international development minister Phil Hogan and TU professor John Williams.
“We need to ensure that we have more people in the workforce, that we’re not losing too many people and that we are creating the conditions that we need to have a sustainable economic recovery,” Mr Daley told Radio New Zealand.
Trent University economist Paul Daly said that the university sector would be able support more workers.
“It’s about having a more stable economic recovery in the short term and it’s about creating more jobs,” he told Radio NZ.
“The tertiary industries will continue to do well.”
“In fact, the tertiaries have always done better than the manufacturing industries,” Mr Daly said.
“So the terties can be a major beneficiary of the government.”
Mr Daley’s argument is supported by the university’s latest data.
The university’s labour market index has improved since it began tracking tertiary employment in 2013.
According to the latest figures from the New Zealand Bureau of Statistics, there were 2,000 more tertiary jobs in 2015 than there were a year earlier.
The data shows that the tertiers average hourly earnings rose by $3.70 in the year to March.
The growth in average hourly wages is largely due to a 2 per cent increase in the number of workers employed in the manufacturing sector, compared to the other sectors.
Mr Dally said the increase in manufacturing employment is a key factor in the rise in wages.
“In the manufacturing industry, we’ve seen that, by and large, wages have actually grown,” he explained.
“The manufacturing sector’s a very high wage industry and the tertians are paying their fair share.”
But Mr Dally believes that the increase is due to the tertian economy becoming more competitive.
“There’s a lot of other things that happen.
It’s more competitive for people to get a job.
There’s a big incentive for tertians to move to the manufacturing sectors,” he added.”
So it’s the manufacturing companies that are growing and it just has to happen that tertiary employers will be competitive in those industries.”
Trent Union general secretary John Watson said the university forum would be a “wake-up call” to the industry.
“Trent will not only be a great resource for tertiary workers and students, but the Government has the power to make a real difference in our economy,” he wrote on Twitter.
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,business-group,education,tufts-university-sydney-2006,australiaContact Tim Evans