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Youth Transitions Service to go nation-wide

29 August 2005

Youth Transitions Service to go nation-wide

Labour will expand the Youth Transitions Service to cover every region in the country in its next term in government, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Youth Affairs Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

The announcement was made at the launch of the Gisborne Youth Transitions Service, the sixth service to be launched this year. Youth Transitions Services are community-run initiatives which co-ordinate existing services to ensure that young people don't fall through the cracks after leaving school.

"The vast majority of young New Zealanders now leave school with goals and plans for the future," Helen Clark said.

"But Labour is committed to making sure all young people have the support they need to get a good start in their careers.

"We share a goal with the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs to have all 15-19 year olds in work, education or training by 2007. Expanding the Youth Transition Service to every region will keep up the momentum to make sure this goal is met."

The Ministry of Social Development already provides $9 million in funding for Youth Transition Services in 14 locations. In each location, service providers help young people access career training, job seeking advice and information on educational opportunities.

"Five Youth Transitions Services have been launched since April," Steve Maharey said. "They are currently working with 561 young people, and have already helped 236 young people into further education, training or work.

"These are extremely positive results for a four month old service. Our expansion will mean that thousands of young New Zealanders will be moving through the services every year."

Youth Transitions Services are just one element of Labour's wider Youth Transitions programme. Other policies include funding for 5,000 extra Modern Apprenticeships, a major expansion of the Gateway programme and the introduction of a Youth Apprenticeships pilot.


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