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Figures - Teenagers Straight From School To Dole

Figures Show Teenagers Straight From School To Dole

ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman is raising concerns over the number of young New Zealanders under 24 who have been out of work for over four years.

Dr Newman was commenting on figures she received in answer to a Parliamentary question that showed almost 1,000 young people aged 20 to 24 have been registered unemployed for over 4 years.

The figures also show that an alarming 5,326 teenagers aged 18 to 19 have been out of work for over 1 year and 650 have been unemployed for more than two years.

Muriel Newman said that the thousands of young New Zealanders behind the statistics had an even sadder story than just the fact that they had been unemployed for so long. “It is almost certain that most, if not all, of these young people have never had a job; they have gone straight from school on to the dole, and that is a recipe for disaster,” she said.

“While there are around 60,000 registered unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 24, the fact that so many have gone straight from the classroom to the dole cue and been forgotten is nothing short of disastrous.

“These young people must be the key target for welfare that doesn’t just pay and forget but connects them with training, education, work skills and jobs. Four years on the unemployment scrap heap at the start of a working life means a tough road to get yourself a job. Action to get these forgotten young people on to schemes is essential.

“Not only do these figures show the huge waste of potential of having so many young people out of work. The figures also show the struggle these young people face to do the things others take for granted. Dependency means things like having a family or saving to buy a house or a car are out of their reach.

“My fear for these young people is that the Government’s signalled soft ‘pay and forget’ approach to welfare will see them lose even more precious years to dependency. The simple fact is that under this Government these figures are going to get worse,” said Muriel Newman.

ENDS

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