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Good news for realising Pacific youth potential

Good news for realising Pacific youth potential

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban today welcomed new government policy for all young people to be in school or some form of education or training until the age of eighteen, saying this is particularly good news for our Pacific youth and Pacific communities.

"Our Pacific youth are energised and full of potential. Lifting their participation and achievement levels in education and training is vital so that our Pacific people can fully contribute to, and share in, New Zealand's success," Laban said.

The Gateway Programme is an example of an initiative providing flexibility in the school curriculum, offering young Pacific people a range of structured learning opportunities in workplaces, while they are still engaged in the school environment.

In 2006 ten percent of Gateway students were young Pacific students engaged in work experience with their school-based study.

"Feedback of this type of learning has been positive, and our Pacific youth have a lot to gain from programmes like Gateway, and the Youth Apprenticeship programme being piloted this year.

"This learning can provide a bridge for our Pacific youth to further education and training pathways, leading to long term, sustainable and gainful employment opportunities, and a highly skilled and versatile Pacific workforce.

"I encourage businesses, tertiary educators, private training providers, and our Pacific communities to work together to realise the potential of our young Pacific peoples to contribute to our economy and society.

"Our communities are energised and optimistic about the future, and this policy offers alternative pathways to harness the enormous potential of our Pacific youth," said Laban.


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