General policy statement
This Bill proposes an employment option through the Ministry of Social Development in partnership with the New Zealand Defence Force. It introduces a fundamental change in the way the New Zealand Defence Force can participate in the teaching, development and educational/vocational training for our youth.
This Bill seeks to acknowledge the value and importance of learning but also recognises that this can be delivered through models celebrating wider than academic success. By doing so it seeks to address the needs of those youth who are disengaging from the formal education system.
Youth in the age bracket from 15 to 17 are at a vitally important developmental age. This Bill seeks to provide an alternative education/employment opportunity to this specific age group. There is a portion of youth in this age group who are disengaging with the formal education system. They have little or no direction. They struggle to establish goals or to develop positive and progressive career pathways. Within the formal education setting these young people often exhibit anti-social behaviours which can include truancy, disobedience, bullying and other anti-establishment traits. Often they do not see the relevance of the structured classroom lesson and lose the desire or drive to develop their potential through that style of educational provision. These students are highly represented in the school leavers without any “real-life” preparation for the workforce and with little practical skills, life skills or work experience. There is a need to address all of these issues which will add to youth unemployment and youth-cased social issues.
For this small group of young people there is a need for a positive, progressive yet disciplined option outside of the formal educational environment. This alternative pathway ensures they still gain a minimum level of literacy and numeracy but in an environment that also aims to increase their opportunities to enter employment or further training by improving their self-discipline, self-confidence, motivation and initiative within a culture of respect, co-operation, teamwork and tolerance.
This programme includes financial incentives to employers who employ graduates of the programme for the first twelve months post course.
The Youth Employment Training and Education Bill amends the Defence Act 1990 and the Education Act 1989 to allow participants in the scheme to join the New Zealand Defence Force.