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No-one under twenty on the dole?

6 July 2000 Media Statement

No-one under twenty on the dole?

Alliance leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton wants the Government to aim to have no one under twenty on the dole.

"Instead of the dole, we could have everyone under twenty who didn't have full-time work offered a place in free-of-charge education or vocational training, such as an apprenticeship," Jim Anderton told a conference of school executive officers in Christchurch today.

"I don't understand why, as a nation, we don't pay them as much for their education or training as we currently pay them on the dole.

"In my view, governments have tolerated youth unemployment for far too long. Successive governments have allowed the catastrophe of youth unemployment to ravage a generation. As a nation we have the means to do something about it. All we lack is the willingness to pay the cost of a more enlightened policy."

Jim Anderton said New Zealanders are crying out for vision.

"The public is reasonably inquiring, 'where is the place that political leaders and political parties want our country to go?'

"My answer to that, and the Alliance answer to that question, is a country of full employment.

"The achievable vision in the near term is eliminate unemployment for the under-twenties."

ENDS

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