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Out of benefit

NEW ZEALAND Welfare benefits for school-leavers under 18 are to be scrapped. The aim is to keep all young people in education or training to at least that age. The strategy will be implemented over the next 18 months at a cost of $NZ53m (Pounds 22m).

Secondary schools will be given support to speed up the process of registering vocational courses so that students can build up credits for nationally-recognised qualifications. Prime Minister Jim Bolger said income support was no longer an option for school-leavers. About half of this year's leavers are expected to start work, 10 to 14 per cent will be unemployed and the rest will be taking up places in further education.

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