From ABC, October 5, 2006
Howard rejects compulsory year 12 call
Prime Minister John Howard has rejected a call for all Australian students to finish high school.
Labor backbencher Craig Emerson says those who finish year 12 get better jobs, higher wages and are less likely to end up in trouble with the law than those who do not.
Dr Emerson argues students who want to pursue a trade should wait until they have finished high school, or undertake a school-based apprenticeship.
But Mr Howard says students should be able to choose their future.
"I don't think you should force everybody to stay to year 12," he said.
"I think we should expand the choices.
"I'm very much in favour of doing that - that's what we are doing in technical colleges - but not everybody is suitable for a university education."