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Big picture on young people’s pathways from school

The big picture on young people’s pathways from school

The second issue of WORKINSIGHT, the Department of Labour’s six-monthly skills and work report, focuses on plans to ensure all young people are in education, training or a job, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today at a regional employment and skills forum in Whangarei.

Continuing its aim of providing the big picture on the New Zealand job market, WORKINSIGHT’s central feature for this issue is on the pathways that lead out of compulsory schooling, looking at the choices 16 and 17 year olds are making.

“Too many young people are leaving school without the basic skills they need to live and work in modern New Zealand. In 2001, while 85 percent of 16 and 17 year olds were in education or training, around 9000 school-leavers left school with no qualifications at all.

“Leaving education with no qualifications undermines later job prospects. In 2001, only 55 percent of 25 to 29 year olds with no qualifications had a job. This compares with 80 percent for those with higher school certificate, and 85 percent employment with a degree.

“Stopping any young person slipping away from school into a possible lifetime of unemployment was a manifesto commitment of both parties in the coalition government. Budget 2003 has put in place a comprehensive package of initiatives for young people, such as expanding the Gateway programme to all decile 1-5 secondary schools and boosting the number of Modern Apprentices.

“We’re driving home the message to young people that there is no one rigid pathway from school to education, training or work. But there are people, programmes and information to help make the best decisions about your future,” Steve Maharey said.

WORKINSIGHT itself aims to provide one important aspect of helping young people make the transition successfully from school – timely and relevant information to help them make good decisions. And although this issue contains some key features on pathways for youth, the publication is aimed at anyone interested in job market trends, in particular intermediaries such as career and employment advisers.

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