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Waitakere youth to get a better chance at jobs

Waitakere youth to get a better chance at jobs

Better employment prospects for 15-24 year olds is the focus of a regional scheme to be piloted in Waitakere announced today by the Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton and Social Services and Employment Minister, Steve Maharey.

The Waitakere pilot and another one in Porirua have received a total of $400,000 from the Ministry of Economic Development as part of a whole-of-government drive to improve the transition of young people from school into quality employment.

The pilots are designed to match training and skill development with employment opportunities for young job seekers and involve central and local government, schools, businesses and the wider communities within the pilot areas.

Jim Anderton says employment for young people is essential for their individual development and also for our economy. “We need to see young people in challenging jobs that build their talents and skills, to ensure that they are feel valued and can contribute to the community. This is essential for our economy, particularly at a time when regions and businesses throughout the country are facing skill shortages. Youth unemployment is unacceptably high at 11 per cent and we are committed to action.

Social Services and Employment Minister, Steve Maharey, welcomed the knowledge and expertise of government social and economic agencies combined with the on-the-ground experience of the local organisations. “Both pilots are closely tailored to meet the specific needs of the local communities and the delivery agents, Partners Porirua and Enterprise Waitakere, and their local collaborators can be congratulated for this,” Steve Maharey said.

Enterprise Waitakere Industry and Skills Development Manager, John Wadsworth, said that, “the Youth Works – Waitakere pilot is targeted to the needs of small and medium sized enterprises, which dominate Waitakere’s business environment. We and our partners are very committed to making this pilot benefit both the young people involved and the businesses, which have struggled to take on youth in the past.”

The two pilots will be evaluated to ensure lessons from them are available for the benefit of all regions.

The Waitakere and Porirua projects will contribute to achieving the government's goal of ensuring all 15-19 year olds are engaged in appropriate education, training, work by 2007. Further information on this Youth Transitions project is attached.

The new organisation formed by the merger of Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand would be called New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, ministers Jim Anderton and Jim Sutton said today.

The bill to bring about the merger, ‘tThe Industry New Zealand and Trade New Zealand Integration Bill, ’ was introduced to Parliament by Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton two weeks ago.

“This Labour Progressive Government promised businesses a one stop shop for seeking advice and information on how to develop their enterprises. We know this can maximise jobs and business growth and that businesses will benefit from having advice under one roof,” said Jim Anderton.

“We are committed to assisting exporting businesses make the most of their opportunities. Amalgamating business capability advice along with exporting support will be beneficial to trading ability,” said Jim Sutton.

Ministers were pleased with the announcement by the board of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise that XXXXXXX YYYYYYY is the CEO of the new agency.The board of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will announce the appointment of its CEO in a separate statement.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, which, which will come into effect be established on on 1 July 2003, and will incorporate deliver the services currently provided by Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand into an integrated servicethrough the new integrated organisation.

Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand will be dissolved under the Bill, which provides for the repeal of the New Zealand Trade Development Board Act 1988 and the Industry New Zealand Act 2000.

Jim Anderton said the Crown entity structure was seen as the most appropriate for NZ Trade and Enterprise because it would allow it to develop a strong commercial culture and to build and maintain credibility with business networks. Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand are both also Crown entities.

NZ Trade and Enterprise will be governed by a board appointed by the responsible Ministers. A new board governing the operations of Industry New Zealand, Trade New Zealand, Investment New Zealand and the establishment of the new organisation was set up late last year.

Both the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will collectively be responsible for purchase advice, monitoring and evaluation. The appointment of the chief executives of both Ministries as advisers to the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise is also consistent with that intent.

Jim Anderton said NZ Trade and Enterprise will be responsible for developing and implementing trade, industry, and regional development policies in partnership with industry, businesses, iwi, central and local government, and relevant community groups.

The functions of NZT&E include: contributing to a supportive environment for sustainable economic growth providing a conduit for input and advice from industry, local government, and relevant community groups on programmes to implement the Government’s policies for economic, industry and regional development enhancing industry and regional enterprise and entrepreneurial capabilities by providing information, and facilitative access to skills, expertise, and resources contributing to increased exports from, and investment in, New Zealand by strengthening global linkages through trade and investment promotion and providing targeted market development assistance

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said New Zealand businesses and our economy would benefit from an organisation that provides seamless, flexible and responsive service delivery to businesses throughout their life cycle, from start-up to global player.

“A substantial service network will be maintained within and outside New Zealand to deliver the level of service required by New Zealand business,” said Jim Sutton.

Youth Transitions project

According to Census 2001, there are approximately 265,000 young people aged 15-19 in New Zealand. Of that cohort, it is estimated that, at any point in time, between 27,000 and 45,000 (or 10-17%) young people are not participating in formal education, training or work.

Difficulties in making transitions are often related to social, economic and health problems in earlier life. Among other things, poverty, poor parenting, drug and alcohol problems, criminal offending, abuse, poor health, pregnancy, and severe behavioural problems are risk factors for transition difficulties. We do not yet fully understand, however, the precise ways in which such risk factors relate to adverse outcomes.

Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

In October 2002, the government signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, outlining the process by which central government and the Taskforce will co-operate towards the achievement of the shared goal, that “by 2007, all 15-19 year olds will be engaged in appropriate education, training, work or other options which will lead to long term economic independence and well-being”.

A work programme has been agreed to achieve this goal consisting of three strands: improving our understanding of youth transitions to better direct future investments; identifying initial priorities and a course of action to make measurable progress in the identified priority areas. The two initial priorities identified are raising skills and qualifications, and improving sustainable employment outcomes; and work towards achieving a coherent transition system, including better co-ordination of services for young people at risk, and alignment of services, institutions, agencies, and policy frameworks.

The Government has sought further advice on the dynamics of youth transitions. A report back is due to Cabinet in July, intended to inform the Budget process in 2004, with further report backs to Cabinet due until 2007.

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