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Unemployment numbers at 28 year low

10 December 2007

Unemployment numbers at 28 year low

The number of New Zealanders receiving an unemployment benefit is at a 28 year low, Social Development and Employment Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

“In December 1999, when the Labour-led government came into office, 161,000 people were receiving an unemployment benefit. Over 141,000 have come off this benefit since then, with just over 20,000 people receiving it now. These numbers haven’t been this low since 1979. In addition, this government has radically reduced youth unemployment numbers,” said Ruth Dyson.

“In 2002 the Government made a commitment with the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs that all New Zealand youth are on a clear pathway into long term economic independence and wellbeing.”

Ruth Dyson said government Ministers will meet with the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs tomorrow to review the achievements of the partnership to date.

“The Government has invested significantly in a range of targeted initiatives that prepare young people to successfully move from secondary school to further education, training and employment. Such initiatives include:

- The Modern Apprenticeship Scheme which helps young people gain trade and vocational qualifications while they work

- Youth Transition Services which provide customised support to young people as they leave school

- Gateway which supports work experience for students while they are in secondary school

- Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) which provides additional funding to schools for personalising learning pathways

- Working New Zealand: Work Focused Support which provides young people receiving benefit assistance with intensive one-on-one case management and access to more services

- Teen Parent assistance is available so young people can continue in education while they care for their children

“I also acknowledge the tremendous contribution of local government. The commitment shown by 71 out of all 73 mayors and central government towards the shared goal shows what can be achieved through a collaborative and concerted effort. Now, more young New Zealanders than ever are actively involved in planning for their future,” said Ruth Dyson.

ENDS

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