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Youth Programmes Give Maori A Chance

1 November 2001 Media Statement

Training Opportunities and Youth Programmes Give Maori A Chance

Training Opportunities and Youth Training programmes are helping Maori improve their future prospects, according to an audit report released today by Maori Affairs Minister Hon Parekura Horomia and Associate Minister of Education Steve Maharey.

Training Opportunities and Youth Training programmes provide skills and training to long term unemployed people or those with low or no qualifications.

Mr Horomia said the effectiveness audit, conducted by Te Puni Kokiri, confirmed Mäori had access to, and benefited from, participation in the programmes.

“This audit report has been reassuring and worthwhile. The programmes are opening doors for people who have fallen out of the education system early and are finding it hard to get ahead. We need to assist people to get back into the education system or into the job scene, so that they can give themselves and their whanau a decent life.”

It is a point endorsed by the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey.

“The report shows that Training Opportunities and Youth Training programmes are giving Maori trainees the chance to develop skills and gain credits towards qualifications, which will then help them get jobs or move into further education.

Mr Horomia said while many Maori are making full use of the programmes, there’s still room for improvement.

“The report suggests adjusting contracts and developing services with programme providers to allow them to work with trainees that have multiple barriers, be they educational, financial or personal.”

Recommendations from the audit report will be considered by the Ministerial group currently reviewing the Training Opportunities and Youth Training policies.

Recommendations

1. Skill New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) expand the current outcomes approach in contracting regimes to include a range of outcomes that acknowledge trainee preparedness to move into further education, training and employment.
2. Support for the ongoing development the sharing of information about successful practices.
3. Longer-term contracts are entered into with committed and successful providers to give training organisations more security and allow long-term planning by providers.
4. Regional employers, industry groups and iwi organisations be invited as a matter of course to participate in Skill New Zealand’s annual planning round for commissioning and purchasing of Training Opportunities and Youth Training courses.

Background


Training Opportunities and Youth Training were established as two distinct programmes in 1998 to help people with low qualifications or limited skills move into work or further education or training. They are funded through Vote: Work and Income, and taken together, are the country’s largest single employment intervention. Targeted trainees include the long-term unemployed, domestic purpose beneficiaries, Workbridge clients and youth with low or no qualifications.

Te Puni Kokiri worked with Skill New Zealand, the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Department of Labour, and Work and Income during the audit.


Questions and Answers

1. Why and how was the audit carried out?
The audit by Te Puni Kokiri was undertaken to see whether Mäori were having difficulty accessing the training programmes – and to provide Government with assurance about the impact of these training programmes on Mäori.

The audit team visited Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Canterbury, interviewing 26 training programme providers 211 trainees and 91 tutors and management staff within the districts. 91 postal questionnaires were also returned from 51 providers.

The audit team also interviewed Skill New Zealand and Department of Work and Income regional staff. And it reviewed policy papers relating to both programmes – including four monitoring reports published since the Training Opportunities Programme began in 1993.
2. What improvements can be made to better support programme providers?
Currently Government agencies have provider development funding available that providers were unaware of or did not access. Improved information to providers will assist them to access these funds, as well as enable them to improve their internal systems. Using the information in the report, Skill New Zealand will continue their process of developing best practice models.
-
3. How do people get onto Training Opportunities and Youth programmes?
There are varied approaches to attracting trainees. For example, tutors in one Youth Training programme commonly walk the streets informing youth about their programmes, while some programmes used the local media.

In the first quarter of 2001, 26% of trainees were referred from the Department of Work and Income.

4. How many Mäori have completed one of these training programmes?
In 2000, about 9,500 Mäori trainees completed a Training Opportunities programme and about 6,000 Mäori completed a Youth Training programme. During that time, there were 22,146 Training Opportunities trainees and 13,125 Youth Training trainees in total.
-
5. What are the eligibility criteria for the programmes?
Training Opportunities provides full-time, fully funded training to people registered with MSD and/or Workbridge who meet the following criteria:

- 18 and 19-year-olds who have left school in the past six months with low qualifications
- unemployed who have been registered with MSD for at least 26 weeks, available to work for 20 hours or more a week, with low qualifications
- people enrolled with and referred by Workbridge
- recipients of the Domestic Purposes Benefit or the Widows Benefit for at least twelve months, with low qualifications
- refugees who have entered the country within the past 12 months
- former prisoners who have served a sentence of six months or more within the last six months.

Youth Training is for young people – 16 and 17-year-olds (with some exceptions) – who have recently left school with low or no qualifications.

The following youth are eligible:
- under 18-year-olds with low qualifications who have left school, or under 16-year-olds with a MOE exemption from school
- people 18 years or older with low qualifications who have left school in the past six months
- under 18-year-olds referred by Workbridge
- refugees aged 18 or less who have entered New Zealand within the past 12 months
- Youth Needs (a MSD category) customers who are under 18-years-old and have been registered with MSD unemployed for at least 13 weeks.

6. How many Mäori have got jobs or gone onto further education after completing one of these programmes?
In 2000, 48% of Training Opportunities’ Mäori trainees got work within two months of completing the programme. In the same year, 36% of Maori trainees on the Youth Training programmes got work within two months of completing this course.

In 2000, 60% of Training Opportunities Maori trainees went on to further education and training after leaving the programme. In the same year 59% of Youth Training Maori trainees went on to further education and training after leaving the programme.

7. How much does it cost to complete a training programme?
Training Opportunities and Youth Training are free to trainees who meet the eligibility criteria.

8. What will happen to the recommendations of the report now?
The Ministry of Education and Skill New Zealand can implement some improvements immediately. The recommendations will also be considered by the Ministerial group currently reviewing Training Opportunities and Youth Training policies.

9. What will happen to the programmes when Skill NZ is integrated into the new Tertiary Education Commission?
The new Tertiary Education Commission will continue to ensure that these programmes meet the needs of target groups.

10. Where can I get copies of the audit report?
Contact the Communications group at Te Puni Kökiri on (04) 922 6024.

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