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Still Obsessed With Failed Policies Of 90s

4 July 2002

National Still Obsessed With Failed Policies Of 90s, Says Maharey

National’s youth welfare policy shows it learnt nothing during the 1990s and is simply rehashing ideas that failed last time it was in government, says Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

Plans to rename the failed community work scheme as a ‘Youth Participation Programme’ are laughable, given that those who participated in the scheme in 1990s were actually less likely to get a real job. Further, their ill-defined support plans would be unaffordable given National’s plans to cut taxes.

Steve Maharey said the policy would fail young New Zealanders.

“Surely getting young people into real jobs earning real wages is better than pushing them into a barely reinvented community work scheme, which evaluations showed conclusively not to have worked during the 1990s.

“What we have got here is more of the same tired old ‘blame the beneficiary’ attitude. Labour has focused on the positive – building young people’s skills and their self-esteem - and it’s working with more young people moving into the workforce.

“In contrast, today Labour released a fully costed Education and Training Leaving Age strategy which will ensure that all young people are in education or training, or in a job.

“Labour’s policy is based on programmes that have been proven to work – Modern Apprenticeships, Youth Training, and the Gateway school-to-work initiative.

“We are the party that, in government, have presided over the creation of 104,000 new jobs, and the introduction of exciting new opportunities for our young people like Modern Apprenticeships.

“Education, training and employment pathways for young people are at the forefront of Labour’s thinking – National’s policy would take us back to the failed policies of the 1990s,” Steve Maharey said.


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