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Driver Licence Project for South Waikato

INTRODUCTION

One of the major barriers for youth to attend training and go for jobs some distance away from home is the lack of a driver’s license. In 2020 in the South Waikato there were 120 offences issued for driving without a license.

In early October, prior to the project starting, the contributing schools undertook a survey to gain some primary data about drivers licensing in the school communities. The results of this survey reinforced what we knew anecdotally.
61% of eligible students had no license
35% of eligible students held a learner license

The barriers for gaining a license were:
Not confident they would pass – 66%
Paying for their license – 58%
Paying for driving lessons – 29%
Access to an adult with a full license to teach them – 22%
Access to a car with a current WOF and Registration – 14%
Paying for petrol to practice driving – 17%

SWIFT set an ambitious goal of 100% of eligible students having some level of driver’s licence before leaving school and so co-funded a pilot program as a first step. The support has meant 33 students have gained their restricted license since 1 October to 30 November 2020. These are 33 students who would have not otherwise had the financial means to acquire their license, which now makes them significantly more employable in our local region.