There are just short of 630,000 people aged 20-29. A net 33,000 of them have left for Australia under National – 13,000 in the last year. That’s twice the rate of emigration under Labour. There’s also twice as many unemployed in this age group – 46,000 (a further 200,000 aren’t in the work-force so can’t count as officially unemployed).
That’s 1 in 8 of our youngest generation of workers either leaving for Aussie or unemployed under National.
The number of 18-24 year olds on the dole is up 300% in the past four years at a cost to the taxpayer fo $150m a year.
The effects of long-term unemployment early in a person’s career and life are well-understood. Yet, nothing substantive has been done. Just a few ‘boot-camps’ that don’t work for the few people they do take on and are really propaganda tools to shift the blame for joblessness on to the young people.
At the same time, the Government is importing hundreds of workers for semi-skilled jobs in the Christchurch rebuild and allowed hundreds of hospitality businesses to import workers for the World Cup. These needs were totally predictable and any sensible government would have invested in skill-matching long ahead of time, giving our young people skills and jobs, rather than doing nothing and then looking overseas for workers at the last minute.
But they didn’t.
And every month, more and more of our young people will go to Australia, rather than face unemployment or low wages here.