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Mayors Taskforce For Jobs targets looming threat

Mayors Taskforce For Jobs targets looming threat to labour market

The newly-appointed Mayors Taskforce For Jobs has held its first Mayoral workshop of 2014 to create an urgent plan to address the country’s dire youth unemployment numbers.

New figures show 24% of youth aged 15-19 and 11% of 20-24 year olds are out of work.

This is compared to an overall national unemployment rate of 5.9%1 Taskforce Chair, Mayor of Clutha Bryan Cadogan, says is totally unacceptable.

Mayor Cadogan warns that with the combination of a high mature employment rate, a contracting youth population and major skills shortage, New Zealand’s labour market is reaching a critical mass. “We need to do better by working together to make sure our kids have the best opportunities to get jobs. We need to keep an eye on the ‘big picture’ which is the fact that we have increasing demand for labour and skills but fewer job seekers,” says Mayor Cadogan.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the number of people employed aged 55 and over has increased from 14.4 percent to 22 percent of the total number of people employed, between March 2003 and December 20142 Zealanders aged between 15 and 19 is expected to shrink by around 28,000 between 2013 and 2023, meaning less youth entering the job market3 The Mayors Taskforce says that young people must be trained for specific regional jobs and industries and employers should be supported to introduce younger, less-experienced workers into their businesses, in order to avoid a looming labour ‘crisis’.

“A huge proportion of our working population is heading towards retirement age, and we simply don’t have enough youth entering the job market,” Mayor Cadogan says.

“This is coinciding with a major skills shortage across multiple industries with many employers struggling to find skilled workers. We have a lot of good kids in our communities who are out of work, and with the right leadership and guidance, those kids can fill those gaps in the employment market and ensure it remains sustainable.”

. At the same time, the number of New Statistics New Zealand Quarterly Employment Survey: December 2013 Quarter, www.stats.govt.nz

Statistics New Zealand Quarterly Employment Survey: December 2013 Quarter, www.stats.govt.nz

Careers NZ ‘Mature workers in the labour market’, www.careers.govt.nz

The MTFJ Mayoral Workshop was held over the past weekend in Rotorua with Mayors
coming together from all over the country. The workshop was hosted by Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick. During the workshop Mayors were given a first look at the soon-to-be-launched MTFJ website, which has been designed to give young people current, localised and effective information about job-seeking in their regions.

“The new website will play an important role in getting youth into work by helping them to identify projects and trends in their local area. MTFJ Chief Executive Bry Kopu says.

Ms Kopu says supporting youth into employment is a key priority of the MTFJ’s Youth to Work Strategy, which focuses on community ownership and collaboration. “We acknowledge there is a wide range of good work going on in communities, but often it is disconnected. The strategy provides a framework to help integrate these together to build knowledge, skills and relationships with ongoing benefits to youth, employers, communities and the New Zealand economy.”

“Our youth are the key to our future, and they need our guidance and support to kick-start their careers. We’re excited to have this new tool available to help lead our young people into employment.”

The new site will launch in March and will be available on www.mtfj.co.nz


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