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Black mark for Government on youth jobs

Black mark for Government on youth jobs

The Prime Minister should be ashamed of a 'could do much better' report card that highlights how young Kiwis are still among the most disadvantaged in the Western world when it comes to job opportunities, Labour's Youth Affairs and Employment spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

"The latest NZahead report, from the NZ Institute, gives the Government a 'C' for its overall performance.

"Even more significantly, however, the report has also slammed National for making no headway whatsoever in tackling New Zealand's growing youth unemployment problem. It simply hasn't done enough for these kids," Jacinda Ardern said.

"Young people represent almost half of all of this country's unemployed, the highest share in the OECD.

"Yet National has chosen to ignore the recommendations in the NZ Institute's 'More Ladders, Fewer Snakes' report on youth unemployment, released earlier this year, and it continues to ignore warnings that the consequences of its inaction will have an impact on everyone.

"It is estimated that 'disengaged youth' - young people not in work, education or training - cost New Zealand around $900 million a year.

"On the other hand helping those young people into training or work can boost the economy by millions.

"Labour knows that. We have plans to create jobs, promote apprenticeships and to provide transition services and training for school leavers.

"Our youth skills and employment package focuses on students before they leave school and on the 24,000 teenagers currently not in work, education or training.

"These kids are our future. It is a tragedy that their skills are being wasted," Jacinda Ardern said.

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