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Banks Alone in Exiting Mayors' Taskforce For Jobs

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council

Thursday 6 March 2008

Banks Alone in Exiting Mayors' Taskforce For Jobs

City Vision-Labour Auckland City Councillors were shocked to be told by council officers at yesterday's combined committees meeting that Auckland Mayor John Banks has unilaterally taken Auckland City out of the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs. Only two other mayors don't belong and John Banks is the first mayor ever to pull out of the Taskforce.

City Vision-Labour Leader Richard Northey said "I am deeply saddened for the young people of this city. Pulling out of the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs means Auckland will miss out on vital services and support for our young school leavers and workers."

Auckland City Council's cadetships scheme and apprentice graduation ceremonies have been cancelled and Auckland's Mt Roskill Youth Transition Service will now have to be phased out. Tamaki was to be next off the block for a Youth Transition Service but without the Taskforce membership, Auckland City Council is unlikely to get government funding for this.

Councillor Northey says "Being part of the Taskforce meant setting an example to other employers in the city so we were providing cadetships to get some low skilled unemployed young people into work at Council. We were also hosting graduation ceremonies for young people who had completed an apprenticeship. It was amazing to see the pride in the faces of the apprentices and their families. Both these initiatives have now been cancelled."

Councillor Leila Boyle says "Government funding for the Mt Roskill Youth Transition Service was due to former Mayor Dick Hubbard's membership of the Taskforce so its future is now at risk. It is very unlikely we will get further government money to fund a second service in Tamaki now John Banks has exited the Taskforce. Without this help available to them, young Aucklanders will remain out of work or in undervalued jobs."

At yesterday's meeting, City Vision Councillor Cathy Casey twice asked John Banks to explain to his fellow Councillors why he was withdrawing from the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs but he refused to respond.

Councillor Casey says "John Banks owes it to the people of Auckland to explain why he is stopping these programmes that have helped provide work and pride to vulnerable young people."


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