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Children¹s Commissioner welcomes youth transition

Thursday, May 13, 2004 Press Release

Children¹s Commissioner welcomes youth transition package

The government¹s $56.9 million school to work transition package will help prevent young people falling into the ghetto of youth unemployment, according to Children¹s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro.

Dr Kiro says high youth unemployment among 15-19 year olds is a major and longstanding issue and there has been a clearly identified gap in the amount of assistance available for young people leaving school to find work. She says the range of programmes announced by the government will help.

³The problem faced by young people is that they can¹t demonstrate work skills until they are given the chance to work.²

Dr Kiro says both industry and young people will welcome the announcement of an extra 500 apprenticeships.

She also says it is important that the pilots in the package are extended to ensure young people have certainty about the availability of assistance programmes.

As well as the difficulties of moving into work, young people have raised concern about their vulnerability to exploitation in the workforce, according to the Children¹s Commissioner. Dr Kiro says the government needs to ensure young people moving from school into the workforce are given adequate protection and understand complaint systems.

The current de facto working age of 16 also leaves large numbers of young people under that age working for low wages in working conditions that can sometimes be less than acceptable, she says.

ENDS


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