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Labour's career plan policy wins praise

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016 By Peter Wilson, Political Writer

Student associations are applauding Labour's promise of personalised career plans for every high school student if it leads the next government.

Party leader Andrew Little announced the $30 million policy on Tuesday, saying career advice would be part of the curriculum and schools would have highly-skilled advisers.

"As the world of work changes, careers advice can no longer be seen as an add-on, delivered by already over-stretched teaching staff," he said.

The Union of Students' Associations says it knows of many students who have been given poor advice, or none at all.

"Careers advice has been broken for an number of years and it predates this government," said association president Linsey Higgins.

"We look forward to working with the Labour Party, and any other party that wants to develop this concept."

The Council of Trade Unions also welcomed Labour's announcement.

"Currently, not all secondary students have access to careers advisers," said CTU secretary Sam Huggard.

"Students and their parents will welcome the move to ensure this is available to everyone."

Mr Little said under Labour's plan, schools would partner with business and training providers to deliver up-to-date and relevant advice.

The $30m a year cost is for a fully operational career plan programme.

It will be phased in, so the full cost won't occur in the first year.

The $5m a year currently spent on career advice services will be absorbed.

Labour is anticipating contributions from the private sector and industry training providers to help pay for it.

The policy is part of Labour's Future of Work programme.

It adds to previously-announced policy of three years' free post-school education and training.

"There are now 87,200 young New Zealanders not in employment, education or training," Mr Little said when he announced the career plan policy.

"That cannot go on."

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