Labour pledges $30 million for school careers advisors


Labour wants to make sure every high school student has a personalised career plan before they leave high school.

More than 87,000 young New Zealanders are not in employment, education or training, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

"One of the problems we've got at the moment is we've got a high school system that the default outcome is that you go to university," he said, speaking on Paul Henry.

If elected in 2017, the party will pump $30 million into partnering schools with business and training providers to deliver relevant careers advice.

The plan involves having an appointed careers counsellor in each New Zealand school to connect students' skills with business or industry opportunities.

But Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce thinks they're looking to the past rather than the future.

"I think the model's a bit old fashioned actually. The days of one careers advisor being able to supply all the advice a student needs, all the different career options you have in the modern world, is a bit behind us."

Mr Little says the plan aims to provide more information for young people at the time they are making their first career decisions.

"The future is changing very rapidly and what you want to do is make sure that kids, while they're at school, are making good choices about the courses they're doing there.

"The real opportunity and the bit that's been missing is getting the actual passionate industry people in front of the kids more so that they can tell the stories of their industries," he says.

The Government is currently moving Careers New Zealand to become part of the Tertiary Education Commission in an effort to streamline and improve careers advice, it says.