Choice beats compulsion

Labour’s school plus policy  will require everyone under 18 to be at school or in training.

National’s youth guarantee policy gives 16 and 17 year olds the choice of school, training or work. They can also choose to do nothing but won’t get a benefit while doing it.

Labour’s policy takes no account of the real world where there are some young people who don’t fit in the school system, can’t wait to leave, will buckle down and work but don’t want any more formal learning.

National’s policy recognises that one-size doesn’t fit all and that some people will learn better outside school and some are better in work than in a classroom.

We see quite a few of these on farms.

They’re sick of school, not interested in any other form of formal learning but they’re happy to work. Some of them will take up the opportunity to gain AgITO qualifications later and do well because they can see a point to what they’re learning but if they were forced into the classroom earlier they’d have dropped out.

Choice versus compulsion? No contest.

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