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NCEA Fails Nation’s Job Seekers

Thursday 10 February 2005

What About The Workers? - NCEA Fails Nation’s Job Seekers

“Around 60,000 students leaving school with NCEA qualifications only will now face arbitrary judgements by employers on their academic and vocational abilities due to the failure of the system to provide consistency,” said John Kerr, Acting Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. “The government needs to compensate all students entering the workforce without a qualification that prospective employers can or will use, not just the ones affected by the entrance scholarships.”

Mr Kerr was commenting on the NCEA material sent to employers in January claiming they would have ‘much better information to help you match the right people with the right jobs’ when hiring school leavers “This dramatically contrasts with the views of the Employers and Manufacturers Association that NCEA is a fundamentally flawed qualification and is too inconsistent to be used for hiring decisions. While Unions rarely agree with employer opinions on such issues, their views now appear proven correct.”

“The Government was warned years ago that students were ‘guinea pigs’ in an experiment which needed to be trialled,” said John Kerr. “The fact is, those warnings were ignored by Trevor Mallard. What school the 2004 student went to, is now likely to become the question for employers, rather than what results did they achieve.”

“If qualifications are going to be used by employers as ‘a record of overall ability’ (as the Government says the NCEA can be), they must rank students as fairly as possible,” said John Kerr. “Otherwise the first entrance of a youth into the work force will be even more dependent on who you know rather than what you know.”

“The problems with the 2004 NCEA Entrance qualification merely typify what has been occurring in the NCEA level 1, 2 and 3 areas,” said John Kerr. “The Cambridge High School investigation showed how easily a student’s results can be manipulated. While the whole NCEA system needs to be reviewed urgently, an immediate support system including financial compensation is needed to minimise the damage to the employment chances of this year’s entrants to the work force.”

ENDS

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