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New Zealand Faces Youth Jobs Crisis

Megan
WOODS
Youth Affairs spokesperson

9 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

New Zealand Faces Youth Jobs Crisis

New Zealand is facing a youth job crisis with one in four young people unemployed, says Labour's Youth Affairs spokesperson Megan Woods.

“Unemployment among 15 – 19-year-olds is 25 per cent. That’s one in four. A terrible statistic.

“Despite John Key calling these figures a ‘surprise’ they confirm what I have been hearing from young people all over the country.

“There are no jobs for them. There are 85,000 young people not in education, training or work in this country. That has increased by 18,000 since National took office.

“They are feeling the unrelenting lack of opportunity here in their country and they are flocking to departure lounges to cross the Tasman as fast as they can.

“National is turning Generation Y into Generation OZ. We have to turn this around.

“National is doing very little to address this. Other countries have major training and skills programmes to help kick-start young people’s careers.

“This Government is stuck in the past, and refuses to implement the policies that could turn this situation around. All they have offered is a continued undermining of our young people and their worth with their welfare reforms and youth pay rates.

“It is time for them to think on a different scale.

“Labour would do just that. We are committed to getting young people into training and in Government would use the unemployment benefit to get young people into apprenticeships.”

ENDS

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