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Jobs and education for young people says Anderton

6 February 2001 Media Statement

Jobs and education for young people says Anderton

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Alliance Jim Anderton today discussed his key priorities in a Waitangi Day speech at Orongomai Marae in Upper Hutt.

"Employment must be our highest priority. I want to work towards ensuring that we have no one under twenty on the dole. If the whole country adopted that goal we would find a way to ensure young people can be guaranteed a place in education, training or in paid work," said Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton.

"We need high quality jobs and training that will allow young people to take up these jobs, but we need to make it easier for people to move off benefits and into paid employment. We need to look at lowering the rate at which social welfare benefits are reduced as a person earns money from other work," said Jim Anderton.

"If I had my way I would make education free. Get rid of fees. Pay young people an allowance to study. I have to acknowledge that our society has repeatedly refused to vote for free education, but I think New Zealanders now recognise that the loan system is an unsustainable debt burden on our young people and they want change," said Jim Anderton.

Jim Anderton also said summer work for students or at least adequate support needs to be considered.

"I would like to see a pilot scheme where student debt is wiped for categories of students if they agree to work in New Zealand for a certain number of years after they graduate," said Jim Anderton.

The Deputy Prime Minister said these ideas need to be tested to see what works, "I'm a pragmatist. We should be prepared to try things. If they work, we should do more. If they don't work, throw them out and try something else."

Jim Anderton is proposing that these issues go alongside the jobs machine, the kiwi bank and paid parental leave.

Jim Anderton thanked the Orongomai Marae for inviting him for a second year to share Waitangi Day.


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