A Taranaki programme is seeking to give disadvantaged high school students help to get their driver’s licence.
The trial, put together by Taranaki Futures and the New Plymouth District Council, will see 50 north Taranaki children put through their restricted licence test over the next year.
The scheme was granted $50,000 by the New Plymouth District Council.
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New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom told RadioLIVE’s Mark Sainsbury that local businesses want school leavers with a restricted driver’s licence.
“I spend a lot of time working with tradies and our small businesses, and they want to take young people on but they’ve got to be useful.
“The minute they walk through the door you’re paying them, and if they can’t jump in the van and get something from the shop unsupervised they’re pretty much useless,” Mr Holdom said.
“[Employees] are costing you straight away and so you’ve got to get a return on your investment.”
Both the Labour Party and New Zealand First campaigned during the election last year on driver licence training as part of the school curriculum.
The Ministry of Education was still considering it.
Mr Holdom says parents should be responsible for teaching their kids how to drive.
“But there are a number of our kids that don’t, for a whole range of reasons, have that parental support to do it. So the school should be helping everyone do the driving, get some of the qualifications.”
Listen to the full interview with Neil Holdom above.
Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.