The importance of Labour’s youth employment policies to New Zealand’s future has been highlighted by new figures showing over 90,000 young Kiwis are not in employment, education or training, says Labour’s skills and training spokesperson Jenny Salesa.
“According to the latest Household Labour Force figures, there are more young people not earning or learning than the population of a city the size of Palmerston North.
“Under National, the number of 15-24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) has spiralled to more than 90,000, a 50 per cent increase since National came to office.
“The longer that our young people are disconnected from opportunities the harder it will be to ensure that they can access decent work and training in the future.
“That is why Labour’s commitment to enhanced careers advice, our Ready to Work programme for long-term unemployed, and commitment free tertiary education is so important.
“The increase in NEETs also highlights the folly of National’s obsession with arbitrary education achievement targets. Kids are completing qualifications but they aren’t getting onto a track that will lead them to further success.
“During their time in government National have consistently cut the level of financial support for students, resulting in more young people who aren’t in education, training or employment. That’s an incredible waste of human potential.
“We simply can’t afford to have young people wasting their lives sitting at home doing nothing. In the last three months alone more than 200 young people a day have joined that group.
“Labour has a comprehensive plan to get them into education, training or employment and it’s time to put that plan into action. It’s time to change the Government,” says Jenny Salesa.