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Youth rates get young people started at work

Youth rates get young people started at work; Greens policy unhelpful

The option to pay minimum youth rates to young people often gets their work careers underway, and abolishing them would hurt young people more than help, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern).

“Proposals to abolish youth rates by the Greens Party would make it even harder for young people to get their first job and enter the workforce,” said Mr Lowe.

“The current unemployment rate is 12.4 per cent for 15 to 19 year olds against an average for the workforce overall of 3.4 per cent.

“School leavers already find it hard enough to get started. These

sort of policy suggestions are not helpful.

“If an employer has a choice between school leaver with no work experience and a more experienced worker, they are going to choose the worker with more experience unless there is some incentive to do otherwise.

“It can be quite some months before a young person is able to contribute much to a workplace at all, as they have to be taught all the basics first, including such as time keeping.

“In a recent EMA survey, 14 per cent of employers reported they were paying youth rates. Some said they would not hire school leavers at all if youth rates were unavailable, and prefer older workers instead.”

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