A Labour Government will invest $183 million into a comprehensive package aimed at ensuring all New Zealanders under the age of 20 are in work or training by the end of our first term, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“There are 75,000 Kiwis aged 15 to 24 who are not in work, education or training. That’s 11 per cent of our young people; double the unemployment rate of the rest of the population.
“Labour is targeting the under 20s because at that age young people make critical decisions about their careers which can determine their pathway in life. Our Youth Employment Package will reach the 24,000 unemployed Kiwis under 20.
“We will also implement a Contract with Youth to target those most in need of intensive support to give them meaningful alternatives to a life on a benefit.
“This includes Kick Start Apprenticeships which will provide employers who take on unemployed 18 and 19-year-olds permanently with a $9,100 subsidy – the equivalent of the dole. There will be 12,000 apprenticeship places over the four years.
“We will fund an additional 2,000 Maori Trades Training places to help address disproportionately high unemployment rates among young Maori. These places will be established through partnerships between tertiary providers, iwi and industry training organisations for key sectors such as fishing and forestry. Labour will also establish 1,500 training places for the some of the 40 per cent of 15 to 19 year old Pasifika people who are unemployed.
“National’s failed boot camps which have a reoffending rate of 83 per cent will be scrapped. Instead we will re-launch the Conservation Corps with 1,500 places in a full-time 20-week course which mixes conservation work, vocational training and confidence building.
“Labour will also reform careers advice to ensure young New Zealanders are helped as they train and move into work. At present this advice ends at school and the quality is highly variable.
“We will disestablish Careers New Zealand and have a different body to oversee our strategy with input from schools, employers, tertiary training providers and careers experts. Labour will commit $17 million to provide more secondary teachers and other staff to improve careers guidance and support in school and out in the community.
“A Labour Government will give young people a way to reach their full potential, and at the same time, create a world class training system that meets the needs of workers, employers and the economy,” Grant Robertson says.