Other than fixing child poverty, there’s probably no more important policy than this. Labour will commit $183 million to a comprehensive Youth Employment Package designed to reach 24,000 young New Zealanders. Labour will get young New Zealanders off the unemployment benefit and into apprenticeships by paying the equivalent of the dole to employers willing to offer a permanent full time job.
Announcing the policy, Grant Robertson said:
“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.
Another very welcome development is a timely and welcome boost to Maori trade training:
“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.