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Mayors Taskforce Supports Youth Policy Initiatives

For Immediate Release 1 February, 2008

Mayors Taskforce Supports Youth Policy Initiatives

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs has been working on youth employment for the last six years and is particularly pleased to see the emphasis on education and vocational training recently announced by both the National and Labour parties.

Over this time the Taskforce has actively promoted the need for more flexibility with regard to the vocational pathways available to young people, while noting the importance of raising the achievement level of school leavers. The Taskforce has 71 member Mayors (97%) of all Mayors, across the whole political spectrum and as the Chair I would welcome the opportunity to work on the details of these proposals.

At a recent meeting the Taskforce decided to focus on Youth in Transition noting the importance of the various transitions in the lives of young people. Youth in Transition is a broad concept which covers not only transition in to education, training or work, but also making a successful transition into the community. It also addresses some of the unacceptable youth behaviour issues which prevent young people becoming positive members of their communities.

The concept includes career advice (better links into the local community), school leaving qualifications, transition into training and into work with training attached to jobs, lifelong learning and further transitions into other (better) work in a progressive sense.

Remaining actively engaged with our young people, promoting positive behaviour, and role models and giving them every opportunity to shine in our cities and towns will reap huge rewards for all of us.

In my own community of Otorohanga district we have had great success with our Trade Training Centre where young people are trained in trades relevant to our community. This is a fantastic partnership with the Council, employers and Wintec. All our graduates get jobs – to date 16. In addition our Harvest Youth Community Centre provides well supervised activities for all our young people. This is a positive environment, well supported by the adults, where young people are challenged by the great rock climbing experience and where they can get help and advice on issues relevant to them. Putting in the effort and remaining connected with our young people has seen a marked decrease in anti – social behaviour in our town.

ends

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