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Stand Up questions govt’s priorities for youth unemployment

17 April 2012

Stand Up questions government’s priorities for youth unemployment

CTU youth sector Stand Up is disappointed at the government's call to ‘narrow’ the funding for the Work’n It Out programme that has successfully moved youth unemployment figures into single digits in South Otago.

Stand Up spokesperson James Sleep says “this is not the time to be cutting back on schemes that are working. The proportion of 15-24 year olds not in employment, education or training in December 2011 had risen to 13.1 percent from 12.4 percent September 2011. The Work’n It Out programme has been instrumental in reversing this trend for the South Otago region and should be looked to as a blueprint for other regions rather than being scaled down.”

Sleep says the news this morning that the government’s new plan for youth services will mean that the programme may have to drop most of its current clients or even have to close is disappointing.

“In contrast, six-week long limited service volunteer camps are continuing to be funded by an annual grant from MSD to the tune of $5000 per person. 2892 people have been through the programmes nationwide since 2010, and while a third of them have gone on to further training, less than one in five have since found paid work.”

"It’s a question of priorities. Boot camps have cost taxpayers over $15 million with little actual proof that the one off, 6 week boot camp has any long term employment benefits for those who participate. That is money that could be used towards schemes that are proven to work and don't demean young people as boot camps do." concludes Sleep.

ENDS

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