A toolkit containing all the necessary practical information for school leavers was one of the items on Chris Hipkins’ education manifesto before Labour made it into power. It is an initiative eagerly anticipated by many in the education, industry training and employment sectors – and today they will be pleased to see the arrival of the School Leavers’ Toolkit, as announced by the Education Minister.

The School Leavers’ Toolkit responds to the need, identified by the Future of Work Commission, to “do better in giving young people the practical skills that they need, in the workplace, in their day-to-day lives, and as members of the community.” It is designed to support students with learning key workplace competencies, financial literacy, civics, and personal wellbeing before they leave school. 

“We need to make sure all our young people can leave school with the skills they need to get on in life and avoid common pitfalls that can easily trip them up. It shouldn’t be left to chance,” says Minister Hipkins, upon announcing the initiative.

 “We want to make sure children and young people know and understand how money works, and how to have their say in our democracy.

 “The Toolkit will provide easy to find – and understand – advice and information on how to set up a bank account, and learn about compound interest and debt.

 “It will also provide civics education and advice on what to expect when moving into a flat, when applying for a job and enrolling in further study or training, and in other areas that will add to students’ personal and financial wellbeing and sense of connection to the community.”       

 “It’s important to have all this useful information in one place and of a high and consistent standard. We’ve enlisted students to road-test the toolkit, and partners including Worksafe, MBIE, the Commission for Financial Capability, the Electoral Commission, and the Bankers’ Association to get the content right.”

Hipkins says this is just a starting point.

 “Now we’ve got the toolkit up and running we’ll be looking to add education resources in other areas that will benefit school leavers.”

One of those could be driver education, with more likely to be added to the toolkit in the near future.

 The toolkit also provides options and support for teachers to incorporate this learning into their day to day classroom teaching, Chris Hipkins said. Teachers will be provided with tools, resources and training to integrate Toolkit subject areas into their local curriculum.

It is up to schools and kura as to how they use the Toolkit in the way that best suits their students and school community. All schools will be able to access School Leavers’ Toolkit resources.

 The Studyit website for secondary students, which sits alongside the Toolkit, has also been refreshed, providing students with information on study skills and support for NCEA English, Maths and Science. 

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