Topics: Education, Politics, Youth

Youth size-up Labour Party's School Leavers' policy

By Talisa Kupenga
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Labour plans to equip school leavers with driver licences and budgeting skills as part of its education toolkit if it wins the election. Kelston Girls College students shared their thoughts about the policy.

Too young to vote but keen to have a say. Kelston Girls College students told Te Kāea their thoughts.

17-year-old Lashaya Nikoia says, “It’s quite interesting the things she brought up like the skills. I had thought about it and a lot of us don’t have skills fully developed before we leave high school.”

17-year-old Raimona Wairepo says, “The Māori students think they can’t do this and they can’t do that but it’s because we don’t have the support and if we had the support and we had the encouragement, we would go so far.”

Labour's School Leavers’ Toolkit will allow school leavers to sit their first learner’s and restricted driver licence test, access five-hours driving lessons and defensive driving courses free of charge. They will also learn civics, understand practical budgeting and gain practical certifiable skills to transfer to the workplace.

Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern says, "This will enable our young people to be work ready. Seventy-percent of those entry level jobs require a driver licence and we know there have been groups in the past that have been pushing for something like this to try stop our young people from being criminalised for not having the right licence when they are driving."

ut with technology progressing fast and more self-driving cars on the horizon is Labour's policy already outdated?

Ardern says, “Who knows where we’ll be in a few decades’ time. All I know now is there is a need now and we need to address that.”

Labour says although some schools offer these programmes, the current approach was ad hoc. Ardern says the toolkit would be available to all.