“The Government’s objective, broadly expressed, is that every person, whatever [her or] his level of academic ability, whether he [or she] be rich or poor, whether he [or she] live in country or town, has a right, as a citizen, to a free education of the kind for which he [or she] is best fitted and to the fullest extent of [her or] his powers.” – Peter Fraser and Clarence Beeby (1938)
Labour is committed to a New Zealand in which all people can reach their full potential through education. High-quality, lifelong learning is vital for both social and economic development and for a successful democratic society of informed citizens. New Zealand’s public education system is amongst the best in the developed world. Maintaining that standard requires a willingness to innovate and invest to keep pace with changing needs and new challenges.
Labour has always been at the forefront of driving progressive educational change – from Peter Fraser and his Secretary of Education, Clarence Beeby, ushering in the modern school era in the 1930s, through to David Lange with Tomorrow’s Schools, which still underpins our school system today, and the development of our modern early childhood education system.
We are reaching another turning point. A range of factors are combining to put our school system under pressure. These include demography, technological change, international competition, and Tomorrow’s Schools reaching the limits of its usefulness. The modernisation of schools in other nations means they are starting to outpace us, and there are signs that our educational outcomes are starting to worsen. We cannot stand by and allow this to happen.
Our mission is simple: we want New Zealand to be educating the most successful kids in the world.
What we've announced so far...
- Labour’s Working Futures Plan provides three years of free post-school education over a person’s lifetime. It can be used for any training, apprenticeship or higher education approved by NZQA and can be used for full-time or part-time study.
- The three years don’t have to be used all at once. For instance, someone could complete a one year polytechnic course in their twenties, then a two year design course if they want to retrain later in life.
- The plan will be introduced in phases, with one year’s education available from 2019, two years from 2022 and three years available from 2025.
- It will not affect the existing living allowances and course-related costs.
Transforming Careers Advice
- Labour will ensure that every student has a personalised career development plan.
- We will professionalise careers advice and integrate it into learning. Every high school will have highly trained, skilled careers advice teachers.
- Our plan will develop partnerships between schools, businesses and training providers to provide young people with hands on experience in schools encouraging flexible approaches like the Gateway programme.
Our Work Our Future
- Labour will ensure the Government focuses on creating more jobs.
- When Government organisations issue large contracts, they will have to choose the winning bid based on which creates jobs in New Zealand.
- When Government organisations issue contracts, they will have to design them so that companies focused on creating jobs in New Zealand have a fair chance of winning them.
Dole for Apprenticeships
- Labour is boosting its Dole for Apprenticeships scheme. We are expanding our previous commitment to pay the equivalent of the unemployment benefit to employers who take on an apprentice.
- This is an extension of the Kickstart Apprenticeships scheme which offered Dole for Apprenticeships to 18 and 19 year olds only, capped at 3000 per year.
- We are removing the cap and extending the eligibility to all 18 to 24 year olds not earning or learning. There are currently 72,000 under 25 year olds in New Zealand who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), 11% of this population.
- There are almost 12,000 fewer apprentices in training today than there were in 2007 under Labour.