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Gisborne's Youth Transition Services launched

Hon David Benson-Pope, MP
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South

29 November 2005
Media Statement

Gisborne's Youth Transition Services launched

A Youth Transition Services in Gisborne will be a valuable resource for young people, their families and the wider Gisborne community.

Launching the service today Social Development and Employment Minister David Benson-Pope said that a number of young people in Gisborne were at risk of falling through the cracks as they left school.

“Gisborne has nearly 2,500 young people aged between 15 and 17," said Mr Benson-Pope. "During 2004, 335 young people were stood down from school, 10 were excluded and 50 were suspended. Some 32 percent of Gisborne’s 15-to-19 year olds have no qualifications. Nearly 1,150 16-to-24 year olds are receiving some sort of benefit assistance.

"This is a terrible waste of human potential. We need to encourage young people to aim high, and to build on their strengths and those of their families, whanau and community. This is where Youth Transitions Services comes in. Essentially, Youth Transitions Services provide young people with the tools to make positive choices for their future so they can achieve long-term economic independence.

"The Youth Transition Services being launched today shows that the government and the local community are taking the issue seriously. The service will provide the support and guidance that Gisborne's young people deserve."

The service will provide employment and career planning, job seeking advice, information on educational opportunities and customised support for at-risk school leavers.

Gisborne is the first district launched in the second wave roll-out of Youth Transition Services. Other services are currently operating in Waitakere and Porirua cities, and in Rotorua, Whangarei and New Plymouth districts. Hamilton and Manukau cities, the Far North district and a combined Hutt Valley will soon follow.

“The government selected Gisborne for the first launch in this next wave because it has the essential elements for a successful Youth Transition Services in place,” David Benson-Pope said. "I'm confident that this community has what it takes to succeed for its young people."

Youth Transition Services are funded by the government and implemented in partnership with the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs. The service providers in Gisborne are Pulse Marketing and Career Connexions.

ENDS

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