PM sticking to his guns over early school leavers
4:00AM Thursday Jul 16, 2009
By Claire Trevett

A scheme offering early school leavers free education in places such as polytechnics or trade academies will begin from the end of the year - and the Prime Minister intends to stick to his policy of refusing a benefit for any who do not take up the chance.

Yesterday John Key said the Youth Guarantee scheme would be rolled out from the end of the year. It will offer 16 and 17-year-olds who decide to leave school free education in places such as trade academies, polytechnics or wananga.

National's election-year policy was for early school leavers who were not working and refused to continue in another form of education or training to be refused a benefit.

When asked if the "no benefit" condition still applied given the jobs shortage in the economic downturn, Mr Key said "well, I'm not backing down from it".

More here.