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Govt’s participation policy a good starting point

MEDIA RELEASE

30 January 2008
Institutes of Technology & Polytechnics of New Zealand

Government’s participation policy a good starting point

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) support the Government’s proposal to encourage young people to stay in education, training or work until 18 – its been our policy since the early 1990s – but have identified areas for development.

“ITPs have been building skilled communities for over a century and this policy proposal could allow us to step up to a new challenge. While most students do stay in education until 18, many find that schools do not meet their needs, so we need to find options that work for them. ,” said Dave Guerin, ITP New Zealand Executive Director.

“The proposal reinforces a community-wide message to young people that educational achievement will improve their long-term prospects. ITPs can support students’ aspirations by providing a staircase of courses from foundation through to postgraduate levels.

“While the Government’s direction is positive, its proposals focus mainly on improving schools, rather than developing alternatives to schools. Specifically, it does not address any of the financial barriers facing students if they move from free education at school to subsidised education, with fees, at ITPs. The Government has said that it will consult with stakeholders and we will contribute to that process.”

“We acknowledge that the Government has moved from a proposed leaving age of 17 in November 2007 to participation until 18 now. This reflects our suggestion at the time.”

The National Party Leader, John Key, proposed an increase in the education and training leaving age to 18 yesterday. ITP New Zealand strongly supported that change, noting its focus on a range of free options for young people.


ITP New Zealand represents 19 publicly-owned institutes of technology and polytechnics throughout New Zealand.


ENDS

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