Press Release – New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
The New Zealand youth union movement, Stand Up, is calling on the Government to reinstate funding for the recently axed youth unemployment initiative, Community Max, to assist young New Zealanders who are currently out of work and education. Government failing young Kiwis
The New Zealand youth union movement, Stand Up, is calling on the Government to reinstate funding for the recently axed youth unemployment initiative, Community Max, to assist young New Zealanders who are currently out of work and education.
National Convener, James Sleep, says the Government is all talk when it comes to solving youth unemployment, and the axing of one of their key youth unemployment initiatives, Community Max, has shown they have failed to walk the talk.
“Youth unemployment is steadily rising. The June Quarterly Household Labour Force Survey released earlier this month showed that youth unemployment increased to 18.2 percent. Most concerning is the increase in unemployment of Māori and Pacific youth – 30.3% and 30.6%, up from 24.8% and 25.8% respectively in June 2009.” says Sleep.
Sleep says these statistics show a crisis in the area of youth unemployment, and the last thing the Government should be doing is axing initiatives like Community Max, which aim to get young Kiwis up skilled and into work.
“The Government’s priorities are wrong. Whilst youth unemployment is increasing, the Government is cutting funding to job creation initiatives, education and skills development. The axing of Community Max strengthens the case that the Government is failing young New Zealanders. When many young New Zealanders need assistance to up skill and get into work the Government has cut pathways of opportunities”
Stand Up believes the Government is missing in action in the area of youth unemployment and must immediately pump money into creating opportunities for the tens of thousands of young people currently out of work and education, not just paying lip service to some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people.
“New Zealand will be better off with a skilled and productive workforce. Simply ignoring the issue and allowing tens of thousands of young people to languish on benefits, and the negative social outlook it creates, will only hinder our short and long term economic recovery” Sleep concluded.