Community Colleges NZ to suspend free courses for young people

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A dramatic fall in enrolments and high compliance costs are to blame for the suspension of free courses for struggling students across the South Island.

Community Colleges New Zealand (Comcol) has offered free training and qualifications for teenagers for 40 years but from January the Youth Guarantee programme is being suspended “due to multiple reasons”.

The decision will result in 25 job losses.

The charitable training establishment provides practical courses in hospitality, salon and retail, equine, sport and recreation and customer services and has helped thousands of young people achieve qualifications.

In 2001, it had about 700 students, but that has fallen to 120 across its five colleges in Blenheim, Rangiora, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill.

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