In May 2016 MTFJ, Massey University and Connecting for Youth Employment partnered to launch the Steering Aotearoa initiative in Central Hawkes Bay.
MTFJ had identified that one of the biggest barriers to employment for young people was the lack of a driver’s licence. The barriers are particularly acute in rural & provincial communities and those with high deprivation. Youth may lack access to a car, be unable to afford lessons or travel to a testing centre.
The initiative aimed to respond to demonstrate a way to overcome these barriers by providing youth the opportunity to gain their license while at school. The pilot was overseen by Massey Universities Dr Peter Rawlins, and was made possible by the efforts of Connecting for Youth Employment's Kelly Annand.
As a result of the pilot 20 kids from diverse backgrounds are well on their way to having their full licences. The research report recommended that driver training programmes be retained, and expanded, to provide opportunities for all students to secure their full driving licence before they leave high school.
Drawing on the research, Mayor Steve Chadwick of Rotorua moved a remit at the 2017 LGNZ AGM that the membership of LGNZ advocate with them for the implementation of a universal, free & all accessible drivers licensing programme in New Zealand schools.
This remit was passed with overwhelming support.
The full report can be read here.