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New service helps young people seize opportunies

12 April 2006

Minister: New service will help young people seize opportunities for success

Young people in Manukau will get extra help in the transition from school to work with the launch of a new Youth Transitions Service, Social Development and Employment Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

The Manukau service, to be delivered by the Solomon Group, will provide career training, job seeking advice, information on educational opportunities and customised support for at-risk school leavers.

"Today's announcement is great news for Manukau. The new service will play a vital role in ensuring young people in the area are ready and able to seize opportunities for success," said David Benson-Pope.

"The Solomon Group is well placed to draw together the range of services that young people will require, to identify skills shortages and labour market opportunities, and to link young people with employers and training providers."

They will work closely with two community service providers, Ideal Success Charitable Trust and Affirming Works to deliver the direct services to young people.

The Youth Transitions Service, co-ordinated through the Ministry of Social Development 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

"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. This is a waste of human potential," said Mr Benson-Pope.

"The Youth Transitions Service is part of the government's $56.9 million package that will make sure these young people have the tools to become active, productive members of their communities."

Nationally Youth Transitions Services are working with around 4500 young people at varying levels, depending on the individual young person's need. To date, 880 young people have been assisted into employment or have commenced further education or training. Manukau is currently working with approximately 430 youth and have so far assisted 67 into further education or training and 18 youth into employment.

ENDS

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