The final Vocational Pathways launched today by Education Minister Hekia Parata and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce is a good start towards making learning more relevant for more New Zealanders, says BusinessNZ.
Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says “Business has been concerned for some time with the performance of programmes provided for secondary school aged students and it’s good to see something concrete being done to connect students’ learning with further education and job options.
“Up until now, it’s been hard for secondary school aged students to find an alternative pathway outside of the university route – a route that many young people do not find appealing or relevant.
“The current arrangements aren’t working for many young people. Students can often end up leaving school with qualifications and credits not particularly relevant to business. Or worse, they leave education without the basic skills like maths and literacy, severely limiting their future opportunities.
“This initiative shows that the secondary and tertiary education sector can be responsive to industry and learner needs. It’s a helpful tool, but not a complete solution. More needs to be done towards blurring the lines between education and work, and to better connect education with employment.
“It means making better connections between parents, employers and teaching professionals. They all need to be leaders of this process.
“The business community expects all secondary schools and tertiary education organisations to be held accountable for delivering effective programmes. Programmes need to successfully equip our young people to be productive and successful members of our communities, including the skills the business community needs.
“I believe these pathways will make you a better citizen, whatever you end up doing. It’s not necessarily about pre-determination of a career. It’s about students making informed, confident choices, and giving them control over their careers and lives.”