New Zealand Labour Party

National doubles down on qualification double up embarrassment

 News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“Today in Parliament I revealed that up to 20 per cent of students participating in the Youth Guarantee scheme already hold a qualification at the level they are enrolling in.

“This was supposed to be the National Government’s flagship programme for kids who aren’t already succeeding in the education system, yet up to 1 in 5 of those participating clearly don’t fall into that category.

“That means up to around $44 million has been spent over the past five years supporting kids who already hold qualifications to get other qualifications at the same level.

“This comes hot on the heels of an evaluation last year that found that those who participated in the Youth Guarantee Fees Free scheme were more likely to end up on a benefit than those who didn’t.

“Under National, the number of 15-24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) has spiralled to more than 90,000, a 50 per cent increase since National came to office, yet their flagship Youth Guarantee programme isn’t reaching them.

“That is why Labour’s commitment to enhanced careers advice, our Ready to Work programme for long-term unemployed, and our commitment to free tertiary education is so important.

“National is failing to tackle the challenge of disengaged young New Zealanders. Labour is ready and willing to pick up the baton,” says Chris Hipkins.