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Boot camp band aid can’t fix youth unemployment

5 May 2011

Boot camp band aid can’t fix youth unemployment

High rates of youth unemployment are unacceptable and won’t be fixed by sending more young people to army-style boot camps, the Green Party said today.

Unemployment figures released today show that 27.5 percent of young people aged 15-19 are unemployed, up from 25.5 percent in the last quarter. For those aged 20-24, the unemployment rate is 13.5 percent, up from 11.2 percent. Overall unemployment is at 6.6 percent.

“John Key’s Government is failing our young people,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“Yesterday’s band-aid announcement of $55m for youth employment schemes can’t cover this growing problem, and sending more young people to boot camps won’t help.

“Almost half of the funding announced yesterday is for sending 1,500 young people to Limited Service Volunteer army-style boot camps.

“It was revealed in February that such boot camps have not been effective at stopping young offenders from reoffending, so why would they be any better at reducing youth unemployment?

“This is a poor use of Government funds and won’t help young people succeed in their communities.

“What’s really needed is investment in meaningful community economic development schemes to create jobs for young people in the communities in which they live.

“Some of the schemes funded under Community Max have been very successful at this, like Channel North, a free community television station in Whangarei that has provided jobs and training in broadcasting skills for local young people.

“It is schemes like this that deserve Government investment, not boot camps.

“The Skills for Growth and Job Ops with Training schemes are more promising, but they have been funded at a significantly lower rate than boot camps.

“We need a serious commitment to community economic development from this Government if we are to significantly reduce youth unemployment around the country,” Mrs Turei said.

ENDS

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