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Improving School-to-work Transitions in New Zealand

  • Alexandra Bibbee
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    The NZ labour market is among the most flexible in the OECD, and outcomes for its young people have been among the best. However, labour-market opportunities are heavily determined by initial education, where New Zealand’s system is also successful and innovative in many ways. Average PISA results are among the OECD’s highest, but the dispersion of performance is also high, indicating a sizable group of underachievers. Those in disadvantaged groups tend to have poor scholastic outcomes. These initial educational handicaps show up in higher drop-out rates and youth joblessness, greatly limiting these youths’ future life chances. Indeed, intergenerational persistence in educational and employment outcomes appears very high. From both a social and economic point of view, it will be essential to develop more fully the human capital of the fast growing demographic group of ethnic minorities. Better teaching quality is needed, with more attention devoted to diversity of student needs and learning approaches to keep children in school. A related problem is the apparently large divergence between the nature of skills supplied by the education sector and the skills demanded by employers. A greater role for youth apprenticeships could help to raise skill levels while aligning them better to the economy’s needs. All this has an important bearing on the government’s ambition to secure strong and sustainable growth with rising living standards and equal opportunities for all. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Survey of New Zealand (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/new-zealand-2maori013.htm). Améliorer la transition de l'école vers l'emploi en Nouvelle-Zélande Le marché du travail néo-zélandais est l’un des plus flexibles de la zone OCDE, et l’un de ceux qui affiche les meilleurs résultats pour l’emploi des jeunes. Néanmoins, les débouchés professionnels sont largement déterminés par la formation initiale, autre domaine dans lequel la Nouvelle-Zélande se montre performante et novatrice à de nombreux égards. Les résultats moyens obtenus à l’enquête PISA font partie des plus élevés de la zone OCDE, mais la dispersion des scores est également importante, ce qui donne à penser qu’une proportion non négligeable d’élèves est en situation d’échec. De manière générale, les personnes issues d’un milieu défavorisé n’ont pas de bons résultats scolaires. Ces handicaps rencontrés au stade de la formation initiale se manifestent par des taux élevés d’abandon scolaire et de chômage chez les jeunes, qui limitent grandement leurs chances dans la vie. De fait, la persistance intergénérationnelle des résultats en matière d’éducation et d’emploi ressort comme étant très élevée. D’un point de vue économique et social, il sera essentiel de développer davantage le capital humain du groupe démographique constitué par les minorités ethniques, en croissance rapide. Il convient d’améliorer la qualité de l’enseignement, et notamment d’accorder davantage d’attention à la diversité des besoins et méthodes d’apprentissage des élèves pour les maintenir à l’école. Autre problème connexe, il semble y avoir un décalage important entre la nature des compétences acquises dans le système éducatif et de celles demandées par les employeurs. Le développement de l’apprentissage pourrait permettre d’élever les niveaux de compétences des jeunes et de les aligner plus étroitement sur les besoins de l’économie. Tout ceci aura une incidence importante sur l’ambition que s’est donnée le gouvernement d’assurer une croissance solide et durable, porteuse d’une élévation des niveaux de vie et de chances égales pour tous. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Nouvelle-Zélande 2013 (www.oecd.org/fr/eco/etudes/nouvelle-zelande-2013.htm).

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1087.

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    Date of creation: 12 Sep 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1087-en
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