State Services Commission, August 2008. To print or download this fact sheet, use the PDF version attached above.

Key Facts

  • Satisfaction with education and training services was 75%, the third highest of the nine service groupings.
  • This service grouping performed best on 'you were treated fairly' and was slightly below average on 'staff kept their promises'.
  • Satisfaction was high with contact methods and ease of accessing education and training services, although New Zealanders would prefer to use email and websites rather than mail for this service grouping

Introduction

Kiwis Count is the first all-of-government survey to ask New Zealanders about their perceptions and experiences of public services.

Kiwis Count prompted New Zealanders about their experiences with a list of 42 services which broadly represented services provided by central and local government, tertiary education institutions and kindergartens. These services were categorised into nine service groupings. This factsheet sets out some key information for the education and training services grouping.

Below are the services included in this grouping along with the percentage of New Zealanders who had used them in the past 12 months. The most commonly used services in this grouping were universities and polytechnics, followed by schools. Employment and retraining opportunities were less commonly used as were kindergartens.

Service

%

A university or polytechnic about a course you are attending or may attend

22

A State/State integrated school your child attends/may attend in future

19

A student loan or student allowance

14

Employment or retraining opportunities

11

Who's using education and training services?

The profile of New Zealanders using education and training services was different from the survey average. Half of the New Zealanders who had used this service grouping were between 18 and 30 years old and relatively few were over 45: 19% compared with a survey average of 47%. 63% were female. This could be due to mothers taking responsibility for education for their children. New Zealanders using education and training services had lower incomes than average, with nearly half earning less than $15,000 per annum, which could be due to students accessing tertiary education. Only a very small proportion had no qualifications (3% compared with a survey average of 17%). Most had only secondary education qualifications (39% compared with a survey average of 25%) and a third had degrees, compared with an average of 24%.

New Zealanders using education and training services were more likely to be of Asian ethnicity (14% compared with a survey average of 10%). Although slightly fewer Māori used this service grouping than the survey average, Māori were more than twice as likely to have used employment or retraining opportunities (23% compared with 11% for the total population). For the survey overall and also for education and training services, Māori had similar satisfaction levels to the total population.

Why are they using education and training services?

New Zealanders were asked why they had contacted education and training services. Responses were fairly evenly divided between four main reasons: 30% had contacted them to 'use a specific service', 27% to 'get information', 19% to 'apply for or request a specific service' and 19% to 'get help or advice with a problem'.

Most New Zealanders who used education and training services in the past 12 months did so because they chose to, which is higher than average (72% compared with 51%). Only 9%, compared with a survey average of 32%, did so because they felt it was a government requirement. For the survey as a whole, New Zealanders who had chosen to use a service were more likely to be satisfied overall and in particular to agree that it was an example of good value for tax dollars spent.

How are they contacting education and training services?

Most New Zealanders who used education and training services contacted them by 'visiting an office or location' (44%). The second most common contact method was to call on the telephone (21%) and 19% received a letter. All of these proportions were close to the survey averages. A relatively high proportion sent or received an email: 8% compared with a survey average of 3%. When asked how they would prefer to contact this service grouping, 20% said they would prefer to use email, 12% said they would like to use a website compared with the 6% who did and only 10% said they preferred to use mail.

Satisfaction with contact methods was high for this service grouping: 77% compared with the survey average of 70%. Education and training services were also rated highly for accessibility: 78% found them easy to access on their most recent service experience compared with an average of 74%.

Performance against the drivers

New Zealanders were asked about satisfaction with their most recent service experience. Satisfaction with education and training services was 75%, higher than the survey average of 68% and the third highest satisfaction rating of all the service groupings.

Kiwis Count measured satisfaction in relation to the six main 'drivers', or factors, which influence New Zealanders' satisfaction with public services. The results were broken down into the nine service groupings. The following graph shows average satisfaction and satisfaction with education and training services for the six drivers.

This service grouping performed above average for five of the six drivers, but with a relatively small percentage point difference compared with the overall satisfaction score for this service grouping. This suggests that there may be other factors which have contributed to satisfaction with this service grouping. These could be identified through further analysis. The best performing driver was 'you were treated fairly'. Satisfaction was also high on 'staff were competent', although this was only just above the average. Performance was lowest on 'it's an example of good value for tax dollars spent', although this was still above the average for this driver. Education and training services performed slightly below average on 'staff kept their promises'.

Performance against the drivers of satisfaction for most recent service experience

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Conclusions

Education and training services performed above average for satisfaction overall and was rated the third highest of the nine service groupings. Performance on the drivers was above average although with a smaller percentage point difference, which suggests that there may be other factors which contribute to satisfaction with this service grouping. Further analysis could identify these. Performance was best on 'you were treated fairly' and was below average on 'staff kept their promises'. Satisfaction was high for contact methods and on ease of accessing services, although this could be further increased by greater use of email and websites for contacting these services.

For more information

See the SSC website:


www.ssc.govt.nz/kiwis-count-research-survey

or email:


newzealanders.experience@ssc.govt.nz

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