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Budget must try harder on high youth unemployment

CTU Stand Up media release
18 May 2010

Budget must try harder on high youth unemployment

The youth union movement Stand Up has today released its report card on the Government’s record on tackling youth unemployment.

The report card scores the Government on the Job Ops and Community Max schemes, the National Cycleway job creation initiative, and on education and skills training. The scores range from poor to average.

Stand Up convener James Sleep says New Zealand is facing a crisis in youth unemployment, with our figures being amongst the worst in the OECD.

“More than 66,000 young people under the age of 24 are out of work - that’s more than the population of the city of Nelson”.

“A quarter of young people between 16 and 19 are out of work, not in education, nor in vocational training. Of particular concern is the 40 percent of all young Maori who form part of this dreadful statistic.”

“Coming out of economic recession, now is the time to invest in the young people who will help build the smart and productive economy we are striving for.”

A recent OECD report has stated that New Zealand runs the risk of leaving a large group of young people behind. This could result in these young people becoming a ‘lost generation’.

“Widespread unemployment now amongst the next generation has potentially huge negative costs including crime, long term unemployment and suicide.”

Groups like the Salvation Army have described the crisis as “a potential time bomb”.
“John Key must match his talk with action and turn the situation around,” concluded Sleep.

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Report card follows:

Dear Parent or Guardian,

It has recently come to our attention that your child John failed to give you his report card for the last year, so we have attached it for your information. Frankly we’re not surprised he didn’t want to talk about it with you.

We are very concerned about the poor progress being made in the area of youth unemployment. It seems like John has been putting his homework under the carpet. However, this is a crisis area for him. It is imperative that he refocuses himself.

There is plenty of room for improvement in this area and we will be watching his results on Thursday’s show and tell with interest.

In particular, John must focus on developing his ability to create opportunities for the thousands of young people out of work, education and vocational training.

John should take inspiration from his good friend Kevin – who is enjoying some real success in this area.

John’s next report will be delivered on Friday, 21st May with his updated results.
Kind regards,

Stand Up! Youth Union Movement

Youth Opportunities Report Card
Evaluation and assessment of the National Government's initiatives to tackle youth unemployment

Job Creation for young people
Funding area RemarksGrade
Job OpsJohn struggles with maths: 4000 places in Job Ops while there are more than 66000 unemployed youth. Must improve!
Community MaxGood effort, but the programme has finished and youth unemployment is higher than when it was brought in. C
Cycle wayAt this rate it might finally provide employment for John’s grandkids. E
Education/Skills development opportunities
Funding AreaRemarksGrade
Tertiary EducationPolytechs and universities are full – leaving youth stuck on the dole with no opportunities. Sort it out! E
Industry TrainingA lack of ambition. John should pay closer attention to his friend Kevin – he’s doing amazing things over the ditch. B-
Literacy and numeracy 2009 saw a temporary increase in funding, well done! But big cuts are budgeted in the coming few years. Pull up your socks and knuckle down; you’re sliding backwards. C

Overall grade for creating opportunities for young people since entering office: D


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