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Scheme for at-risk teenagers launched

17 October 2003 Media Statement

Scheme for at-risk teenagers launched

A new scheme to help at-risk young people get in to employment or further training was launched in Palmerston North by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey this afternoon.

The $290,000 Youth Pathways: He Ara Rangatahi programme is being piloted in Palmerston North, Christchurch and Napier. The programmes are being run by Career Services rapuara and focus on young people who have left school, are too young to qualify for welfare assistance, and who are considered ‘at-risk’ because they have no concrete plans to enter further education or employment. Thirty young people will participate in a support transition programme for 6-9 weeks. They will receive one-on-one guidance from a qualified career consultant to set clear, well-informed career goals and coaching to ensure they follow their career plans.

Steve Maharey said the pilot Youth Pathways: He Ara Rangatahi programmes are part of the $56 million plan to get all young people into education, training, work or other options by 2007.

“Giving young people a good start at the beginning of their working lives is essential if they are to have the opportunity of obtaining meaningful employment.

“Youth Pathways: He Ara Rangatahi builds on the ‘Moving On Up’ young training programme developed by Career Services and Tertiary Education Commission in Whangarei, which has already assisted over 100 young people over the past two years. The three new pilot programmes will be be independently researched and evaluated so we can enhance career information, advice and guidance support available to young people.

“The government is determined to build up a range of alternative education, training or work-based opportunities for young people. Too many young people leave school unsure of their future and drift on to welfare or a sucession of lowly-paid short term jobs.

“Youth Pathways: He Ara Rangatahi joins a succession of programmes like Modern Apprenticeships and Gateway which are providing bright futures for young people previously left behind,” Steve Maharey said.

The Christchurch and Napier pilot programmes are also opening this month.

ENDS

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