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High pass rate for our young people under CAN DO initiative

24 November 2017

The CAN DO initiative run out of the Thames Community Centre and has received fantastic statistics from VTNZ which show that the local drivers licence programme is running at 88% pass-rate against a national average of 53%, and local average of 58%.


CAN DO is a group of like-minded people in the business community focused on business growth and employment.

Our Council is a supporter of CAN DO, as it works on how helping young people stay on the Coromandel when it comes to work opportunities. Our Thames Community Board supported the CAN DO Driver Licence programme by providing a grant of $1,200 towards the 2017 programme.

"27 young people, majority Thames High School students, have sat their restricted tests in the past six months through the CANDO programme and 24 passed on their first time," says Sheryll Fitzpatrick, Thames Community Centre Manager.

"I put this down largely to the driving lessons our young people have before sitting their restricted driving test. This is proving invaluable to getting the final polish on their driving skills before sitting the test," she says.

Next year CAN DO hopes to have an on road car for practice driving to build up 'hours on the road' before sitting the restricted licence. It is recommended that a learner has 100 to 120 hours of on road time before sitting the restricted driving licence test - often achieved in a family car with family support, but many young people do not have access to a car. CAN DO are looking for businesses to support them to achieve more on road time for learner drivers.

"Thanks to everyone who has supported the programme; it has contributed to success for our young people and I hope you continue to see the merit in doing so until we know the outcome of the Coalition's plan to integrate a driver licensing programme in schools and what form that will take," says Ms Fitzpatrick.

"One of the early needs identified by the community was the need to get youth their driver’s license as well as assessing them for work-readiness, through a 'Youth to Work Pipeline'," says Sean Hayes, CAN DO Chair.

"This was to ensure that our young people have some of the required work basics, such as getting themselves to work, in a region that does not have regular public transport," he says.

"While we’ve had a successful start in getting over 60 youths through our driving program, our success has drained the funding budget and we need sponsorship to get the next pool of young people through, in order to get them ready to get to work," says Mr Hayes. 

If this is a community building project that you’d like to support or if you would like to find out more about the programme see or contact Sheryll on 027 868 9797.

Driver refresher course 

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