Thursday 13 August 2015

Youth Guarantee

Now, I know I mentioned in the comments that the next post would offer some solutions instead of presenting a slightly negative view.  The positive post is on the way.  But, a recent report has been released giving a view of New Zealand's position.

Link: Profile and Trends 2014: New Zealand's Annual Tertiary Education Enrolments

The results are mixed.  The positive points are framed in terms of sitting students in front of tutors (see point one).  If you are familiar with my study you will know that this means little in terms of real learning outcomes.

Point two is meaningless at this point.  We simply don't know about the opportunity loss.

Point three is difficult to determine whether positive or not.  Getting students to attain NCEA level 2, is good.  Unless it turns out that these results are due to an emphasis on tutors pushing credits.  Note the quote below.

Quote:  Policy-makers have confounded the acquisition and award of certificates with substantive skill improvement (Wolf & Jenkins, 2014)

NCEA does NOT equal learning outcomes.  It just doesn't.

Number four is VERY positive.  Great work here by the organisations and tutors involved.  Quality tutors are responsible for these good outcomes.  Boy, we have some fantastic tutors who are inspiring and mentoring young learners.  Simply put, a great tutor is worth their weight in gold.  I have met many, and think how lucky the learners, and organisations, are to have them.  I know of one tutor here in Hamilton for example, who is taking lost young people and making them successful, confident and positive members of society.  In fact, I know several teams here in Hamilton that are amazing -great managers and great tutors.

As for the fifth point?  Well, I'll let you make up your mind on that one.  But the questions is -Why?

Anyway, here are the talking points.      

Monitoring the Youth Guarantee policy 2013

This report focuses on the effectiveness of fees-free places and secondary-tertiary programmes at keeping young people in education, assisting them to attain NCEA Level 2 or equivalent and promoting higher level study in tertiary education. It also includes new information on employment and other destinations. It covers the period from 2010, when fees-free places were first set up, to 2013.

The key findings in the report include:
  • Youth Guarantee programmes have reached around 14% of young people by the age of 18
  • The programmes were effective in retaining young people in education in the year they started, who would not otherwise have been in education
  • The major effect of the programmes has been to increase the attainment of NCEA Level 2 or equivalent
  • There is some evidence that the programmes are providing a more effective pathway to employment, particularly to full employment
  • So far, neither progarmme has had any effect on increasing the proportion of young people with NCEA Level 2 or equivalent who progress to further study at Level 4 and above.


  1. ok... still waiting but... what if the job market is contracting due to offshoring, outsourcing, and increase automation. And if the middle class is being gutted through continual restructuring and basically being fired out of all large bureaucracies and corporations, I'm unsure what kinds of employment these courses lead to for people.

    Perhaps we should rethink the 16-24 age range as a target for entrepreneurship, creativity, coding, small business management, and problem solving instead...

  2. Well, unless we have another earthquake we might be in trouble. Rebuilding old equipment and infrastructure seems to the rationale behind the current vocational push. Oh, except for making coffee! All good jobs but not suitable for young people.

    Ask 16-19 year olds what they want to do, and it certainly isn't a vocation. The vocation is a response to having nothing else to do. Not a good way forward.

    I like your last idea