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More opportunities for young people

Andrew Little
Leader of the Opposition

19 October 2016

Labour backs Salvation Army call for more opportunities for young people

The Salvation Army’s report highlights the need to support young New Zealanders through policies that ensure they are all either in work, education, or training, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“The Salvation Army has laid bare National’s failure to support young New Zealanders and the need for Labour’s positive policies. By penny-pinching on education, training, and job opportunities, National have cut off opportunities for young people to get ahead in life.

“The Salvation Army is right: No young person must be allowed to leave school to nothing—no job, no further training, no hope. Labour will invest in our young people through our policies of three years free tertiary education, dole for apprenticeships, careers advisors in schools, and entrepreneur grants.

“The report shows New Zealand has 20,000 fewer trained young tradespeople because of National’s cuts to apprenticeships. That’s a huge waste when industry is crying out for trained workers.

“Because of National’s policies we are relying on immigration for the skills we should be teaching our own young people, who are winding up unemployed instead.

“National is also issuing work visas for the basic jobs that should be the first step on the jobs ladder for young New Zealanders. It is unacceptable that 27,000 work visas were issued for entry level jobs in the past year, while 70,000 young New Zealanders are not in work, education, or training.

“National’s neglect of our young people and reliance on immigration for basic skills is why there are nearly 30 per cent more unemployed 15-24 year olds today than when John Key came to power.

“National’s ministers shrug their shoulders at the fact 70,000 young people are not in work, education, or training, as they have with the housing crisis and the rise in crime. It’s not good enough. Labour’s positive policies will restore opportunity for our young people,” says Andrew Little.

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