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Unemployed Kiwi youth rate no cause for celebration

Nanaia Mahuta
Youth Affairs Spokesperson

9 May 2013

Unemployed Kiwi youth rate no cause for celebration

The government shouldn’t feel too smug about today’s unemployment figures which show New Zealand’s youth unemployment rates are still far higher than the global average, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.

“The latest Household Labour Force Survey shows the number of unemployed 15 to 24 year olds sitting at 16.1 per cent, up 12,100 to 60,900 since National took office.

“A UN report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), also published today, puts the global youth (15-24 year olds) unemployment rate at 12.6 per cent.

“That should give Youth Minister Nikki Kaye pause to think.

“The Government’s solutions to getting young people into work so far have been short-term and punitive. Youth rates and cuts to support for prospective students are hardly incentives to disaffected young people.

“Their only effect is to drive a low wage, low-skilled economy. They send a message to Kiwi youth that they are better off in Australia.

The UN report notes how the queues for available jobs have become longer and that secure jobs – once the norm– have become less accessible for today’s younger generation. It reiterates how scarring the effects of youth unemployment can be.

“The Government needs to act now. It needs to forget its congratulatory back-slapping and get on with creating sustainable, long-term skills and training initiatives.”

ENDS

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