Dear John...

As the number of young Kiwis out of work or not in training or education continues to grow, the ink also appears to have dried up on the Prime Minister’s letter writing campaign to get more trainees into work, says Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson Megan Woods.

“John Key made a huge noise in September about the fact he was personally writing to 175 employers with a request they take on a Limited Service Volunteer graduate.

“It was, he said at the time, ‘a new initiative to get more young people into work’. He would continue to write to employers over the coming months.

“However answers to written parliamentary questions show he hasn’t followed up on that promise. There have been no more letters.

“Nor does anybody know whether any of the initial 175 employers actually took on a graduate. Once someone cancels their benefit or stops receiving financial assistance there is no obligation on them to inform the Ministry of Social Development of their new status or circumstances.

“So once again we have the Prime Minister trumpeting a proposal that is, ostensibly about helping out of work teens get work, but in reality is nothing more than a political stunt.

“It follows a round of similar ‘initiatives’ in education and welfare that do little more than gloss over the Government’s complete failure to tackle the youth unemployment problem.

“If John Key is finding it so difficult to put pen to paper, he might also like to reconsider his penchant for making promises he knows he won’t keep.”