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National’s ‘youth guarantee’ hollow – Carter

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

3 September 2008 Media Statement
National’s ‘youth guarantee’ hollow – Carter

Educators, employers and parents will be bemused by a National billboard unveiled today promoting the party’s so-called ‘youth guarantee’, says Education Minister Chris Carter.

Mr Carter said National’s plan is poorly thought out, grossly under-costed and a poor shadow of the government’s Schools Plus initiative which has been widely welcomed as an effective plan to ensure all young people achieve their potential through education.

“National’s so-called ‘youth guarantee’ is nothing of the sort. Not the kind of comprehensive policy that is needed as our consultation on the Schools Plus initiative has revealed.

“There is overwhelming support from students, teachers, parents, employers and others to improve the education options available to secondary students, keep them at school and ensure they leave with real qualifications that set them up for later life.

“Schools Plus means providing more skilled teachers and support staff, addressing barriers to learning, widening subject choices and working with tertiary providers. National’s plan doesn’t even begin to address these issues.

“The government has committed to a very significant boost in funding to realise the vision of all young people succeeding in education – at least in the order of $170m. National is dreaming if it thinks spending around a third of this will actually make any difference to those young people not currently succeeding at school.

“What is most interesting about National’s announcement today is that the party appears to have dropped the silly boot camp idea John Key was so keen on in January. It is conspicuously absent from the party’s billboard and there is no mention of it in any of their public comments today.

“Young people need real education options, not slogans,” Chris Carter said.


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