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Youth Employment News positive

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development and Employment

15th July 2008 Media Statement

Youth Employment News positive

Reports released today show that youth labour market indicators have improved markedly in the past seven years, Social Development and Employment Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The twelve in-depth regional labour market reports hold up-to-date and vital labour market information on the different regions of New Zealand. They contain a range of information on the skills and employment of youth across the country.

“Compared to 2001, youth employment is up, unemployment is down, and the number of young people in education or training has increased over the past decade. New Zealand has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the OECD, but we must ensure no one is left behind," said Ms Dyson.

“The government’s Schools Plus policy is designed to ensure that all young people participate in education, skills or other structured learning until the age of 18. This complements the Unified Skills Strategy, which focuses on the whole workforce, and the Youth Transition Service and Modern Apprenticeships, all of which are geared towards further developing a highly-skilled workforce,” said Ms Dyson.

The twelve Department of Labour reports focus primarily on data from the 2006 Population Census, which allows a once-in-five-year snapshot of the labour market at a particularly detailed territorial authority level. The most recent results from the Household Labour Force Survey, Linked Employer Employee Data and School Leaver Survey have all been used to supplement the more detailed Population Census data.

"This level of detail at a regional level will be invaluable for local government’s efforts to build skills and employment at a local level," said Dale Williams, chair of the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs.

"The Taskforce aims to have all young people under 25 in paid work, in training or education, or in productive activities in their community. Local councils normally have close connections with the issues in their local areas. They have the people, programmes and resources to tackle the problems, but what they are often lacking are funding and good information.

These reports will provide that information about the skills and employment characteristics of local youth, which can be used at a local level to plan activities and programmes through organisations like the Youth Transition Service. They show where our local strengths are and could help us identify whether long term development plans are feasible, and which training or other initiatives may be necessary," said Dale Williams.

The reports are available at http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/lmr/regional/indepth/index.asp

ENDS

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