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Vision For Youth Unemployed Applauded

The Government’s vision to ensure no one under twenty is left to languish on the dole is being applauded by ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.

Dr Newman today agreed with comments from Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton that ‘successive governments have allowed the catastrophe of youth unemployment to ravage a generation’.

“Mr Anderton’s comments are extremely timely. They come on the day that I have put into the ballot a Private Members Bill to ensure that young people under the age of 21 are fully supported in a full-time work enhancement programme designed to better equip them to find and keep a job,” she said.

Dr Newman said the Bill would address the concern of the Government that it was time for a ‘more enlightened policy’ that prevented young people from falling through the cracks between school and work.

“I look forward to Government support on this issue. It’s clear our priorities both lie with ensuring young New Zealanders are helped to get their first step on the employment ladder,” she said.

Muriel Newman said it was vital that Government policies built strong bridges for young people between school and work, rather than the current situation where 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.

“Any country that values its young people needs to ensure that they successfully manage the transition from school to work,” she said.

“Mr Anderton’s comments are refreshing because they contradict the inaction and soft on welfare approach of Social Services Minister, Steve Maharey.

“It is time for vision, leadership and a fresh approach to put the futures our young people above politics,” said Muriel Newman.

ENDS

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