Young solo parents say they are worried the Government will force them to give up their education for a menial job.
A first round of welfare reforms being debated in Parliament includes payment penalties for parents who do not make themselves available for part-time or full-time work when their children reach school age.
The reforms are aimed at shifting tens of thousands of single parents and unemployed young people off benefits.
An 18-year-old solo mother doing NCEA at a South Dunedin training centre says the new proposals are scary.
She told Insight she has always been told to get an education but now feels pushed to abandon her dream of becoming a social worker to get a job at a supermarket.