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Focus on youth employment continues

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development & Employment and Youth Affairs

23 August 2011
Media Statement

Focus on youth employment continues

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the Government’s high priority on young people continues through the Job Ops with Training and Skills for Growth programmes.

“Since 2009 this Government has backed nearly 12,000 young people into work by giving them a job and valuable experience through the Job Opportunity employer subsidy,” says Ms Bennett.

Job Ops paid $5,000 to an employer to take a young person off benefit and employ them for a minimum of six months.

“Many of these young people have taken advantage of that vital foot in the door and to date 90 per cent have not gone back on a benefit,” says Ms Bennett.

“The two youth employment subsidy programmes announced in Budget 2011 will continue this strong focus on youth employment by helping young people get those skills employers desire.”

Job Ops with Training is a refocused version of Job Ops, which incorporates training in the subsidy for employers. While Skills for Growth still provides a $5,000 subsidy for employers it also includes a component to train young people in high demand industries (eg aged care, horticulture and agriculture).

Both programmes are in their early days however Job Ops with training has been taken up by 251 young people and Work and Income is working with employers to place another 75 young people through Skills for Growth.

Ms Bennett is encouraging employers, especially those in industries targeted by Skills for Growth, to take on young people for their entry level positions.

“The experience and industry based training provided by these programmes will help our young people get ahead in the jobs market,” says Ms Bennett.

“At the end of the subsidised programme an employer will get an employee who is familiar with their operation and has the specific skills their industry requires while the young person gets a real chance at a career, it’s win-win.”

ENDS

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