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Youth jobs programme destined to fail under National

Jacinda Ardern
Social Development Spokesperson

29 November 2012

Youth jobs programme destined to fail under National

A course trumpeted as successfully moving young people into work by both the Prime Minister and the Social Development Minister has an extraordinarily high failure rate, official figures reveal.

“The Ministry of Social Development’s financial review shows that of the 1342 young people who took part in the Limited Service Volunteer programme over the last year 30 per cent (or 405) failed to complete the six-week course, while 639, or more than half of those who did complete it, were back on a benefit within three months of the course ending,” Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern said.

“That puts Paula Bennett firmly between a rock and a hard place; either the Limited Service Volunteer programme is failing our young people or her Government is - by not doing enough to ensure there are jobs available for LSV graduates.

“Ms Bennett, of course, will try to wriggle out of any responsibility. This is, after all, the minister who insulted job seekers with her ‘it is a bit of a bouncy job market out there - a bit like me…Look, the reality is that we have people getting jobs’ and ‘you need to be looking so you can get some of those jobs that are there’.

“The added irony is that John Key recently sent letters to employers asking them to take on Limited Service graduates.

“That in itself pretty much proves the point that young people are struggling to get work in a job market that’s going nowhere.

“Ms Bennett can’t have it both ways. Either she concedes there’s a lack of work opportunities, or that her programme is a failure. With unemployment rates climbing under this government, it’s clear where the blame should lie, and it’s not with our young people,” Jacinda Ardern said.

ENDS

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