Reconsideration of drug testing policy welcomed

Hāpai Te Hauora a national public health organisation is congratulating Rotorua based Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, for reconsidering their student drug testing policy.

Hāpai CEO Lance Norman says drug testing should not be a barrier for young people considering a career in the trade industry.

"Although we understand the need for drug testing for safety reasons, a compassionate approach is recommended, where any positive drug test results are followed up with offers of counselling and other appropriate supports to move students away from possible addiction, and into there chosen career pathway.

"In the past many young Māori and Pacific interested in the trades have been turned away because of drug testing, when it could have been a far more positive outcome, ending in more trade qualified New Zealanders and an opportunity for a health intervention that would benefit that young person and their families future for life".

He says Hāpai looks forward to Toi Ohomai making their final decisions about next steps for drug-testing for trade students in 2018.

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