The Better Public Service (BPS) goals of growing the number of children in Early Childhood Education, increasing the proportion of 18 year olds with NCEA Level 2 or equivalent, and increasing graduates of Level 4 or tertiary equivalents have all shown fantastic progress, say Education Minister Hekia Parata and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith.
“We have a provisional result of 85.2 per cent of 18 year olds achieving NCEA level 2 or equivalent in 2016 - an overall lift in achievement of 10.9 per cent since 2011, and 1.9 per cent more than 2015,” says Ms Parata.
I want to congratulate students, teachers and parents – their hard work is reflected in this wonderful result. That means more young people achieving what is seen as the minimum qualification for success.”
There has been a sharp improvement in Māori and Pasifika achievement in particular since 2011. An estimated 74.7 per cent of Māori achieved NCEA Level 2 or equivalent in 2016 – up from 57.1 per cent in 2011. More than 80 per cent of Pasifika 18 year olds achieved NCEA Level 2 in 2016 – up from 65.5 per cent in 2011.
A record improvement has also been seen in the BPS result for the number of children participating in early childhood education (ECE) before starting school. The participation rate was 96.7 per cent last year – an increase of 2 per cent since March 2011.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see so many more children participating in early learning as research shows that one of the best ways for a child to have a great start in education is for them to be in quality early childhood education,” says Ms Parata.
“Having achieved the original target of 55 per cent of 25-34 year olds with qualifications at Level 4 and above (advanced trade qualifications, diplomas, and degrees), the Government is now working hard towards the revised target of 60 per cent by 2018,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“From around 52 per cent in 2012, we have lifted the rate to 57.2 per cent as of December 2016, which is a fantastic achievement and means many more young New Zealanders are facing the future better equipped than ever before.
“These results have been achieved thanks to the Government’s focus on improving education quality, and increased participation and success.
“We have worked with industry, and Industry Training Organisations to improve the industry training system, improve access to training, and increase achievement rates. There are now over 100,000 industry trainees, and provisional figures indicate we now have 42,900 apprentices across New Zealand.
“New Zealand is now seeing more of our young adults attaining higher qualifications. We need people with world class skills and knowledge to boost the productivity of the New Zealand economy, a challenge this Government is meeting,” Mr Goldsmith says.