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Tertiary Education Commission Gives Sound Advice


(Attention Chief Reporters - for immediate release)

Tertiary Education Commission Chair gives sound advice

The Chairman of the TEC, Dr Andrew West, today gave sound advice to secondary school students and their parents as these students consider a new year of study.

"Dr West is giving a good message about choice to students, including considering trades and technical skilled careers", said Darel Hall Executive Director of the Industry Training Federation.

"Dr West highlights the issue that perceptions about skilled career paths available for young people contemplating tertiary education often don't match reality. However there may be a generational aspect to perceptions with a National Business Review poll published on 23 January showing that in particular young people respect builders and farmers"

"The pay, education opportunities and career development prospects mean industry training is a top option for many people to enter skilled careers. For example, a trained line mechanic can earn up to $70,000 in New Zealand and over triple that in the United States. And builders in Auckland and other centres are earning very well.

Industry trainees have no student loan and no student debt. The average student loan for borrowers as at June 2003 was $13,680. For bachelor degree students the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) calculates an average debt of $21,000.

Recent research shows that for many people the difference in earning increase between a vocational/ trade certificate and a bachelor's degree is small. This is particularly true for women. When the average repayment time for a bachelor's degree is considered, 15 years for men and 28 years for women according to NZUSA, then a skilled career is a very good option to consider.


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