Duncan Garner: Don't panic if you don't do well in NCEA, there's more than university out there

OPINION: Yes, America is the biggest story in town. Yes, the housing panic buying back here dominates the headlines. But will someone please think of the children, well, our teenagers anyway.

On Thursday, they get their NCEA results. All that hard work they did during lockdown, remote learning - I didn't like it.

I think school works because it's about socialising. You learn being around others.

So the results will come on Thursday. It seems so gigantic and, of course, it's your entire world. But does it really teach you about today's curve balls, about debt, finance, problem solving in the real world? From what I have seen the answer is no. Not even close.

If you fail, see it as an opportunity to do something you truly want to do but don't fret too much. The Government has scaled everything in a COVID way, so I predict record numbers of teenagers will pass.

If you do well - congrats. Don't waste it.

If you don't do so well - don't give up. There are many options still ahead.

Not everyone has to rush off to university to become utterly unemployable, completely impractical and saddled with debt three years later.

Get a trade, get a real job, become useful, be a problem solver. Remember the Government is now paying for your entire trades training. No student loan, no debt. Free.

COVID-19 has thrown up all sorts of opportunities. Countless numbers of companies right across NZ are crying out for skilled workers. They are desperate.

I went through the TrailLite motorhome factory in Pukekohe last week. Eighty workers usually build 80 motorhomes a year - they now have orders for almost 300. A trade is not a second-class job

I regret that it was never pushed at the school I was at.

I met a plumber last week in Pauanui who had just bought a bach for $750,000. You can look after number one by unblocking the number twos.

Now go get your hands dirty.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.