All foundation education (Level 1 and 2 courses) will be fees-free for 20-24 year-olds from 2014, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce announced today.
At the same time the government will extend the Youth Guarantee Scheme to 18 and 19 year-olds, meaning that all New Zealanders below the age of 25 will be able to access fees-free level 1 and 2 education courses.
“Level 1 and 2 courses deliver core foundational skills required for success in life. They provide students with the skills required for higher level vocational study, training and employment,” says Mr Joyce.
“Most students gain these skills and qualifications (such as NCEA Level 2) in a school setting, but too many New Zealanders don’t have these skills at age 18, or older.
“The government will focus funding on those who have previously not achieved a level 1 or 2 qualification, including beneficiaries referred by the Ministry of Social Development where level 1 and 2 study meets their needs.
“The government has progressively improved foundation courses over the last four years, by requiring all courses to include literacy and numeracy components, developing vocational pathways with qualifications relevant to industry, and focusing the system on the delivery of full qualifications.
“The government’s commitment means that anyone under the age of 25 will be able to obtain a level 2 qualification fees-free, whether that is at a secondary school, in a Youth Guarantee programme, or at a tertiary provider such as a private training establishment.
“Today’s announcements are a significant step in making sure all New Zealanders have the skills to succeed in modern life, and to transition into further education or work,” says Mr Joyce.