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Rangatahi unemployment – a key focus for the Government

Hon Willie Jackson

Minister of Employment

26 January 2018

Rangatahi unemployment – a key focus for the Government

Minister of Employment Hon Willie Jackson announced the first steps to tackle youth unemployment in the regions, as part of a broader Employment Strategy.

“Tackling youth unemployment is a priority for this Government, especially amongst young Māori and Pasifika,” says Minister Jackson.

“The crisis of entrenched unemployment is real for many rangatahi and their communities.

“We have to work harder to address this reality, because the demography of our nation is changing and rangatahi like these will be the future of our economy.

“That is why our initial support will focus on areas of greatest need, with disproportionate numbers of youth not in employment, education or training (NEETs), and where it will make the most difference: Te Tai Tokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.

“As a first step in this direction, we will allocate $13.27 million under the He Poutama Rangatahi initiative to support communities within these regions to help connect young people to real jobs identified by employers and those communities.

“Communities are eager to support their NEETS into sustained employment and this Government has got their backs. Over the next few months I will be travelling to some of these regions to engage with people on the ground, and hear about their challenges, hopes and aspirations.

“We will support them to lead the solutions targeted to individuals and their circumstances.

“Fundamental to this approach will be building a kete of tightly woven pastoral care around individuals. This reflects the hinaki model from Te Ao Māori – that is, weaving different strands together utilising local resources to build a net of tautoko that is hard to slip out of.

“This is only the first step of many we will need to take. Getting our youth work ready will also ensure they can take advantage of new job opportunities created though this Government’s increased regional investment.

“Providing our rangatahi with pathways to sustained employment will help to strengthen communities, improve living standards and reduce child poverty,” Mr Jackson says.


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