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Progressive Coalition – policy Youth employment

8 July 2002

Progressive Coalition - policy Youth employment

Cornerstone commitment: that all under 20 year old New Zealanders will be in education, training or employment by 2005.

Summary of progressive targets

The Progressive Coalition wants to see everyone under 20 in jobs education or training by 2005.

This will mean extending programmes already running in Canterbury to see that every school leaver is placed in a job, an apprenticeship, or training for a job or is furthering their education at polytechnic or university.

The dole is not an acceptable option for school leavers.

We will increase Modern Apprenticeships from 3000 to 6000.

We will see that 100,000 people are in skills training by 2005 (Up from 68,000 now).

Free education

In education and training the ultimate goal of the Progressive Coalition is free publicly funded early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education in recognition that education is an investment in a productive, healthy society for all.

Our objective is to ensure that all children and young people receive quality education. We will promote the concept of life long learning and training which will best fit New Zealanders to play a full role in their workplaces and in their communities. We commit ourselves to ensuring that all children at primary and secondary school will receive a high quality education in their own neighbourhood. In coalition we will give priority to ensuring access to education at all levels:

Full employment

The Progressive Coalition holds it to be self evident that everyone should have access to paid employment. The prime aim of economic policy must be to achieve and maintain full employment at an adequate standard of living.

Full employment is both the mark and cradle of a modern thriving democracy. Once achieved, it means that everyone can fully participate in, and belong to, our society while enjoying an adequate income now and the very real prospect of a rising standard of living in the future.

More Modern Apprenticeships and greater training opportunities

- The Modern Apprenticeships Program will be extended to the point where all school leavers who do not choose to enter tertiary education can participate in it. In addition, it will be progressively extended to older workers who wish to change careers or enhance their skills.

- We will review the number and quality of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs).

- In partnership with industry we will increase Modern Apprenticeships from 3000 to 6000 by 2005.

- Allowances will be set at the rate of the unemployment benefit for all students of school leaving age and over. This will be introduced progressively by raising the threshold for parental income at which eligibility for allowances is set. We will also review the position of students and trainees who do not live at home.

- We fully support the student employment and SNAP employment schemes which will be vigorously promoted to connect business needs with students over the summer holidays and for part time work during the year. Students prefer jobs to benefits.

- We will investigate giving students the opportunity to pay off debt by working in priority sectors and regions.

Tertiary Education

- Our goal is to ensure that tertiary education is fully government funded in public institutions, ensuring adequate resources for the provision of high quality courses as a crucial element in New Zealand’s economic and social development.

- Far too many leave school will none of the skills required for survival in modern society. We must ensure that all young people are either in school, in training or further education or in a job.

- Fees for publicly provided tertiary education and training will be abolished progressively.

- The student loan scheme will be abolished progressively and the interest rate on remaining student loans will gradually reduced in real terms. The threshold for paying back loans will be progressively raised so that low-income workers are not harshly penalised for doing tertiary study.

- A flat fee structure as a possible basis of free choice of courses will be investigated, as will making the first year of study free with the opportunity to gain scholarships to continue studying. Further assistance will be available for students from low-income families, as well as Maori and Pacific Island students.

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