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Labour’s plan – even harder for unhappy students

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

30 January 2008

Labour’s plan – make it even harder for unhappy students

Helen Clark and her Labour Government have taken a giant leap backwards by effectively banning 16- and 17-year-olds from leaving school to get work, says National’s Education spokeswoman, Katherine Rich.

“While National’s Youth Guarantee proposes offering free training for those teenagers who have completely lost interest in school, Labour will force them to stay – unless they want to work and study at the same time.

“This confusing policy is going to promote truancy, which is already at unprecedented levels, increase classroom disruption as teenagers rebel against being forced to stay, and deny these kids the opportunity to make their way in the world at their own pace.

“If a 16-year-old wants to leave school to work on his parents’ farm, he or she should be allowed to – without having to work towards some sort of certificate at the same time.

“Labour’s plan is draconian and smacks of ‘the state knows best’ – something that has become very familiar over the past eight years. It is also utterly impractical and lacks detail.

“National's Youth Guarantee is the opposite. It is modern, flexible, and practical.

“And as for Helen Clark’s trades training initiative – is there an echo in here?

“In June last year, National announced a comprehensive ‘trades in schools’ initiative, including school-based apprenticeships, trades academies, and school and industry partnerships.

“If all Labour can come up with is a heavy-handed plan to force teenagers to stay in the classroom until they’re 18, they have seriously run out of ideas”.

Attached: Link to National’s Trades In Schools announcement:


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