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Additional young people studying

The number of young people aged 20 to 24 with no income almost trebled between 1996 and 2006, according to figures released this week by Statistics New Zealand.

Young people were also studying for longer and were more likely to work part-time, the report found.

Young people 1986 – 2006 Study, work and income found that 15,990 people aged 20 to 24 had no income in 2006, compared with just 6,342 in 1996. Young peoples’ average income also had fallen between 1986 and 2006, from $18,900 to $11,500.

Statistics New Zealand spokesperson Conal Smith told the  New Zealand Herald that this was probably due to more young people being in full-time education. He said that there were many variables, but it seemed that a greater proportion of students were neither working nor getting a student allowance.

“It’s what we would expect to see … if more students were studying full-time, more would be earning no income.”

The report found that thirty-two percent of all young people aged between 18 and 24 years were studying in 2006. This was an increase of eight percentage points from 1996. 

A higher proportion of young females than young males were studying in both 1996 and 2006. Young females also were more likely than young males to study full- time, and to study at younger ages. 

TEU president Tom Ryan said these figures confirmed the widely held view among tertiary education staff that rolls and workloads were increasing and that students needed more support and pastoral care to compensate for the financial pressures they faced.

Thanks to Ben Gertzfield at Flickr for the photo

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