17,000 youth jobs. That’s what Key has promised with a $152 million programme (some of this is existing money). Like Colin Espiner says “ambitious plan”.
We’ll see if he manages to deliver. The record so far has been big promises and bigger failure to deliver – the money hasn’t been spent and the jobs haven’t materialised.
As we’ve been saying for a long, long time, a lot of job creation can be done that is revenue neutral. The cost of $9000 per job will be largely covered by lower dole payments and more tax revenue.
The challenge will be to make the jobs that are created useful and sustainable. There’s no use creating jobs that aren’t contributing to infrastructure or serving as training opportunities to upskill the youth workforce. There will have to be work done to ensure that these minimum-wage jobs don’t compete with workers on better wages. We don’t need a whole lot of low-skill, low-wage jobs that aren’t going to help grow the economy in the long-term and only serve to undermine the wages of other workers.
So, some pitfalls they’ll need to be careful to avoid but this has the potential to deliver some of what we’ve been pleading for from the Key Government for half a year. Let’s hope they deliver this time.