Free foundation education for under 25s

Steven Joyce has announced:

All foundation (Level 1 and 2 courses) will be fees-free for 20-24 year-olds from 2014, Tertiary , Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

At the same time the government will extend the Youth Guarantee Scheme to 18 and 19 year-olds, meaning that all New Zealanders below the age of 25 will be able to access fees-free level 1 and 2 education courses.

“Level 1 and 2 courses deliver core foundational skills required for success in life. They provide students with the skills required for higher level vocational study, training and employment,” says Mr Joyce.

“Most students gain these skills and qualifications (such as NCEA Level 2) in a school setting, but too many New Zealanders don’t have these skills at age 18, or older.

“The government will focus funding on those who have previously not achieved a level 1 or 2 qualification, including beneficiaries referred by the Ministry of Social Development where level 1 and 2 study meets their needs.

This is good. Few people can contribute to the country and economy without at least NCEA Level 2. It is the minimum in terms of literacy and numeracy that students should have. Allowing people to gain those skills post-school for the same cost (free) as if they were still at school is very welcome.

That is how you help the more disadvantaged in society. Giving them the skills they need.

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