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Alliance Would Eliminate Under 20 Unemployment

Jim Anderton, Alliance leader, is concerned about reported numbers of unemployed school leavers. The recently released Household Labour Force Survey says that four in ten of those looking for work are under 25.

The Alliance has already announced it is committed to having all school-leavers in work, training or education.

Jim Anderton says getting our young people into work or training should be a priority, “Sustained periods of unemployment are the wrong introduction to the workforce for young people. We owe it to them and to ourselves to keep under 20 year olds productively engaged and developing their skills.

“There is already a pilot scheme operating in Christchurch and I hope this will be adapted and extended nationally where regions are prepared to support the scheme,” said Jim Anderton.

Similar pilots are achieving success in other areas, such as Northland where an employment pilot for local young school leavers has also been developed.

Costs of the scheme depend on existing services available, but is estimated in Canterbury as $1 million for 100,000 of population served. It would on this basis around $40 million for the whole of New Zealand. Considerable savings could be made by the government in moving young people into skilled employment.

Jim Anderton says that local agencies need to be actively involved to make this programme work.

The Youth Strategy pilot was developed in Christchurch as part of the Mayors For Jobs Taskforce and has proved highly successful. It is a partnership between the Canterbury Development Corporation and the Department of Work and Income.

The scheme works by tracking 18 and 19 year olds to find those who are not in work, training or education and case managing solutions for them. An employment service actively seeks out employment opportunities and provides support for young people to develop the skills needed.

Ends

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