Government officially failing youth unemployment

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

A report card created by the New Zealand Institute’s NZahead project confirms that New Zealand is falling behind the rest of the OECD in addressing youth unemployment, with the Government receiving a ‘C’ on their measures to address this issue, …Government officially failing on youth unemployment

A report card created by the New Zealand Institute’s NZahead project confirms that New Zealand is falling behind the rest of the OECD in addressing youth unemployment, with the Government receiving a ‘C’ on their measures to address this issue, says Labour Youth Affairs spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.

“Nzahead’s report card was created in order to measure New Zealand’s performance in delivering social, economic and environmental wellbeing to the average New Zealander. Our unemployment levels were rated a ‘C’, with the report noting that New Zealand is doing well overall but neglecting the young.

“The summary of the unemployment section of this report highlights an issue that I have long been concerned about. This Government is failing our young people by refusing to acknowledge how serious the issue of youth unemployment is,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The report states that while programmes such as Job Ops and Community Max had assisted 4,000 and 3,000 young people respectively that ‘…these figures do not go far towards addressing the more than 68,200 youth aged 15-24 that were unemployed as of June 2010’.

“It also highlights the ineffectiveness of the Youth Opportunities package which NZahead says will affect, at most, 12 percent of young unemployed people and that ‘…the majority of that would be with temporary 6-month assistance that may already have ceased’.

“This report completely contradicts Paula Bennett’s claims that the Government’s youth initiatives are helping ‘so many…. many many many” youth into jobs’,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“For a Minister who is so emphatic that people should be off benefits and entering the workforce, Paula Bennett has failed to come up with any solution to our burgeoning rates of youth unemployment. This Government has provided no course of action to create positive outcomes for youth who are not currently in employment, education or training, leading to young people who are faced with no alternative but to join the unemployment queue.

“Both the Minister and the Government need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to young people by taking steps to address the issue of youth unemployment and improving the situation in this country for young people generally.”

ENDS

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