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$7.9 Million to expand Youth Transition Service

27 January 2005

$7.9 Million to expand Youth Transition Service

Thousands more at-risk school leavers will be assisted in the transition from school to work with the $7.9 million expansion of the government's Youth Transition Service into five new areas, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Manukau, Hamilton, Gisborne, Hutt/Upper Hutt and the Far North have been selected as the next five sites for the roll-out of the Youth Transition Service.

"The service, which will ensure young people don't fall through the cracks after leaving school, will be up and running in time for the end of school this year," Steve Maharey said.

Today's announcement follows the four sites that were announced in August 2004 and are due to be formally launched next month in Whangarei, Waitakere, Rotorua, and New Plymouth. The programme will be launched in a further five communities by 2007, bringing the total to 14.

The Youth Transition Service, co-ordinated through MSD provides funding for regional programmes which: Provide at risk youth with access to career planning and job-seeking help Encourage and assist youth to take advantage of education and training opportunities Provide school-leavers with customised support and guidance to facilitate their pathway into work, education or training

"This government set an ambitious target for itself – to make sure all 15-19 year olds are in work, education, or training by 2007. The pace at which the Youth Transition Service is becoming a reality is evidence of just how seriously we're taking this goal.

"It's estimated that up to 45,000 15 to 19 year-olds do not enrol in tertiary study or get a job after leaving school. The Youth Transition Service is part of the government's $56.9 million package that will make sure these young people have the tools to become productive members of their communities."

The Youth Transition Service is funded by the Ministry of Social Development and implemented in partnership with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

ENDS

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