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Youth need clear pathways to employment

29 February 2012

Youth need clear pathways to employment

The Government’s intentions to get more people off the benefit and into work will require strategies to provide clear pathways to employment, including the provision of quality, affordable childcare and other support.

Sonya Hogan, spokesperson for Ara Taiohi, a national umbrella organisation that supports people working with young people, said today that recent announcements about proposed reform of the welfare system need to be driven by sound policies and strategies to actively address the barriers to work that face many people currently receiving a benefit.

“Young people need real jobs that are suitable, satisfying and provide the appropriate training. It is important that the pathways into work, including training options, are streamlined. The review of vocational training options for school leavers and young people needs to be responsive to what those groups are saying.

“Our experience in the youth sector is that young people have lots of ideas about how to change and improve their social and economic outcomes. They need to be part of the conversations when policies and services are being developed.

“Young people want to work. They want to be active, contributing members of society who are recognised and acknowledged for what they do. They need the opportunities to do that and we encourage the Government to frame the changes in this way and to think outside the square about how to engage young people in the changes.

“We are concerned that the push to get sole parents into the workforce does not value the important ‘job’ of parenting. The priority should be on ways to support parents to provide the best support they can to their children.”

Background information
Ara Taiohi has four main goals: to support the youth sector to become more connected; to raise the standards in the youth sector by providing information, research and good practice; to champion youth development with effective leadership and a cohesive voice on the issues affecting young people; and promote sustainability. Ara Taiohi has a collective commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and kaupapa Māori.

Young people are at the heart of Ara Taiohi. 'Ara' means 'pathway to/for' and 'taiohi' means 'young person'. Positive, strengths-based youth development principles underpin the work of Ara Taiohi.

For more information visit www.arataiohi.org.nz.

ENDS

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