Youth jobs scheme

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 5th, 2011 - 14 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags: , ,

It’s not often that the Nats do anything praiseworthy, so I like to take note when they get it right. Their new youth jobs scheme, even though it only partially reverses their previous cuts to youth training, is at least a step back in the right direction:

Govt to spend $55m on youth jobs

There will be $55.2 million over four years in the upcoming budget to get young people into jobs, Prime Minister John Key announced today at Trentham military training camp in Wellington. Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett said the new package would see subsidies for employers who agree to train a young person and give them a permanent job.

The Youth Employment Package, has three components: Skills for Growth, Job Ops with Training, and the Limited Service Volunteer programme. …

Under Skills for Growth employers would get a subsidy to employ and train young people in high demand industries such as aged care, horticulture and agriculture. Around 1000 young people a year would benefit by achieving industry-specific qualifications through the programme which would cost $17.2m over four years. …

Job Ops with Training was a refocused version of Job Ops, which incorporated training in the subsidy for employers, costing $13m in 2011/12. …

LSV [Limited Service Volunteers] is targeted to young people who’ve been on benefit for longer than six months and lack the confidence to find work. The six-week residential confidence building programme for 18-24 year-olds was run by the Defence Force at Burnham, Trentham and Hobsonville.

55.2 million over four years is better than nothing. But we’re currently borrowing $300 million a week to fund National’s unaffordable tax cut bribe. Imagine what a difference we could make to unemployment, poverty, and the economy if we had $300 million to spend on youth jobs.

14 comments on “Youth jobs scheme”

  1. Despite the 90-day workplace trial claim that more employees will get an opportunity to prove themselves, this has not been the case in the majority of cases. Employers will still go for the best candidate(s). Usually, this will come with the caveat of experience.

    Of course, this precludes the great conundrum, how are new employees to gain practical experience if they have no opportunity to do so? Working as a unpaid intern will get you so far, but since you are already prepared to work for nothing, there is always a high possibility that you will never be remunerated, and new employees, as people – do have bills to pay and families to feed.

    Anything that can encourage employers to allow potential new employees to take a step into a practical work situation should be encouraged. Of course, such a policy will cause a certain dislocation in the employment market, but none that compares to the current scenario facing many entering the workforce for the first time.

    The Government should however, insist in those whose industries’ employers will have access to this money, that any experience and/or qualifications gained be meaningful in both employment and remuneration opportunities.

  2. Ben 2

    This is part of the problem though – slash funding for something, then a year (or whenever) later announce some funding for a similar service or program as *new* funding even though it doesn’t replace the funding that was cut.

    There seems to be an incentive for successive governments to do this, so they can claim to have done something, and the (now) opposition can’t claim credit for the solution.

    And of course it takes more money to set up a new program than continue something that is working, and institutional knowledge is lost as committed people have to find work in other fields, so the reality is usually reduced outcomes for the same cost.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      This has come back to bite ACC very hard with regard to supporting victims of sexual assault. I was listening to someone on the radio talking about what happened with therapists and psychologists leaving the field, or even the country, after they changed the service. The person was estimating that it’ll take 2-3 years to get back to where they were before, in terms of the services available.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Yep, laying waste to NZ expert capabilities. No worries though as Australia has 500,000 new jobs beckoning over the next 2 years.

      • Macro 2.1.2

        Very true. Am currently in Perth where my son-in-law (a therapist (MA in Health) working primarily as a provider for ACC) has had to come to find work after the cut backs – taking with him, of course his wife MA (hons) BSc Dip Sc Dip Teach.
        Talk about waving your family goodbye!

  3. Campbell Larsen 3

    25 million on expanding the use of boot camps, normalizing another generation to war and instilling the kind of unquestioning obedience that has led to countless atrocities down through the ages – I think that says a lot about where the direction that the National party wants to take the country in.

    And typically it is those in poverty and with poor educations who are being lured into a ‘career’ in which paying the ultimate price always a possibility.

    • south paw 3.1

      Remember in the good old US of A all those rich parents scrambling to get their precious darlings out of harms way of military recruitment for Iraq and Afghanistan.

  4. south paw 4

    “Tackling youth unemployment!” – kind of headlines a government wants to create in an election year.

  5. ron 5

    I’m amazed at the LSV increase.
    LSV has struggled for enrollment numbers and spent a lot of time over this last period scrabbling around looking for support from underfunded community agencies for their graduates. \
    “We’ll take the $millions but when these people graduate we want you to pick up the pieces when they get back home – oh, sorry we don’t have funding for that”
    A far better way to spend this money would be to engage young people in training.
    This is a dumb decision from a minister in a dumb government.

    • Vicky32 5.1

      Absolutely right ron and Campbell Larsen. My Dad went into the Army in 1938, because of poverty – and ended up with a wrecked life. 🙁

  6. Peter 6

    Agree with your sentiments and very pleased to see this, the issue of unemployment is at least being acknowledged. The market does not solve all issues, least of all full-employment. Inspiration can be taken from the recent Australian Government initiative to foster 500000 more jobs.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Wow, 500,000 more jobs. That’s really ambitious. Won’t that essentially be a full-employment policy?

      • Vicky32 6.1.1

        Well, I will be wrapt if there really will be 500 000 jobs! Then maybe we olds will get a look in? 😀

  7. Fred 7

    Frankly, it smacks of desperation. If you have to put young people through a six week job hunting confidence building course run by the military you are sending the message that there is nothing out there in the local or national labour market for them.

    Most kids – like most other voting citizens – want regular, paid, productive work which supplies the necessaries of life and lets them fulfil their potential. Those with the means and education will have broader horizons and have already decamped abroad.

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