Labour is committed to supporting young New Zealanders, as we secure a recovery from COVID-19 ensuring that no one behind is left behind. From free trades training to action on climate, our policies are already making a real difference for the next generation.
Here are just some of the ways we’re looking out for rangatahi:
Free trades training
We’ve made apprenticeships and targeted trades training free to encourage more Kiwis into the trades, ensuring young people can get the skills they need for a stable career. We’ve already seen more than 190,000 New Zealanders taking up our free trades training and apprenticeships. We’ve also announced an extension to the Apprenticeship Boost scheme which will see a further 38,000 Kiwis supported into a trade.
Cheaper tertiary studies
Our first-year fees-free programme is helping people kick-start their tertiary education and bringing their dream careers within reach. We’ve boosted student loan and allowance entitlements by $79 a week and we provided financial support for tertiary students during COVID, to help ease the pressure so they could continue their studies. We’ve also doubled the course related costs from $1000 to $2000 and brought back Government funding for adult night classes, to give New Zealanders more opportunities to learn.
A more sustainable future
We’re taking climate change seriously, because we know we can’t afford to wait to do our bit. We’ve already passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act, banned new offshore oil and gas exploration, invested in green jobs to support our COVID recovery, made cleaner cars more accessible, declared a climate emergency, and started working towards a carbon-neutral public service.
Healthier rental houses
No one should have to live in a cold, damp home. Thanks to our Healthy Homes Standards, all rental properties now have to meet minimum standards for insulation and heating within a few months of any new tenancy – meaning you can go home to a warm, dry flat that won’t make you sick. We’ve also made renting fairer, by banning letting fees and rental bidding, limiting rent increases to once a year, removing ‘no cause’ terminations, and enabling tenants to make minor changes to the property, such as hanging pictures or earthquake-proofing.
It can be hard to make ends meet as someone new to the workforce. We’ve boosted the minimum wage – bringing it to $21.20 per hour – helping to ensure young people can earn enough to get by.
Taking mental health seriously
New Zealand’s mental health system won’t be fixed overnight, but we’re making changes so more people get the support they need. This includes rolling out digital tools to make sure more wellbeing support is easily available – like the Groov app, which is designed to support young adults. We’re putting mental health workers into GP clinics and medical centres around the country. We also increased mental health and addiction support for around 80,000 tertiary students in Auckland to help with COVID pressure.