Ms Parata says that the mid-year BPS report shows thousands more young people are on the road to success as a result of continued improvements in NCEA achievement.
“We’ve now got 78.6 per cent of 18 year olds with a minimum of NCEA level 2, which is up 4.3 percentage points in just two years and up more than 10 percentage points since 2008,” Ms Parata says.
“In the past two years alone, nearly 1600 more kids have achieved NCEA Level 2 or its equivalent by age 18. That's 1600 more kids with a much more positive educational springboard into adult life.
“It is especially pleasing to see a 6.2 percentage point increase for young Māori and an increase of 5.9 percentage points for our Pasifika students over the last two years.
“We know there’s more work to do to ensure we have 85 per cent of all 18 year olds achieving NCEA Level 2 by 2017 and we’re very focused on achieving that goal. The targeted approach our Government is taking to education is really working.”
Mr Joyce says he is pleased with progress in the Result 6 target.
"The BPS report shows that the proportion of 25 to 34 year olds with a Level 4 or higher qualification in the year to March 2014 was 54.5 per cent, an improvement from 53.8 per cent in 2013 and 52.6 per cent in 2012," Mr Joyce says.
"We are now seeing a strong positive trend in improving performance which shows we are on track to exceed our target for the Better Public Services Result Area 6 by 2017."
Contributing to the overall result, there has been an increase in the proportion of New Zealanders who completed a qualification at Level 4 or higher by age 22 from 32 per cent in 2011 to 35 per cent in 2013.
The number of domestic students who complete bachelors degrees has also been increasing. In 2013, 25,800 domestic students completed bachelors degrees, an increase of around 400 on the 25,400 who completed degrees in 2012, and well above the approximately 20,000 students a year completing their degrees through most of the last decade.
“The results show that the work we are doing to improve performance in the tertiary sector and upskill more young New Zealanders is paying off,” Mr Joyce says.
“More and more young people have the skills they need to be successful in employment and life in the 21st century.”
Since March 2013, apprentices and their employers have also been able to access subsidies for tools and off-job course costs through the Apprenticeship Re-boot scheme. This has contributed to new Apprenticeship enrolments being 24 per cent higher in 2014 than in 2012.
“It is important that we continue to increase the level of skills in our workforce to support New Zealand’s economic growth. We know that a higher skilled workforce supports better innovation and productivity, and most importantly ensures more people get to enjoy the benefits of New Zealand's economic recovery,” Mr Joyce says.
The Better Public Service Results July update can be found at: www.ssc.govt.nz/better-public-services
Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata
21 JULY, 2014