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Increase in 15-19 year old youth unemployment unacceptable

4 August 2011

Increase in 15-19 year old youth unemployment unacceptable

The youth union movement, Stand Up, is deeply concerned about youth unemployment numbers released today.

Spokesperson James Sleep says Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett continues to let 27.6% of 15-19 year olds and 11.2% of 20-24 year olds fall through the cracks and get left behind.

"So much for being ambitious for New Zealand. These statistics confirm that Paula Bennett is standing by doing nothing while young kiwis continue their ongoing struggle to get into sustainable work, education and training opportunities. As many as 77,000 young people are in this situation".

Groups such as the Mayor's Taskforce for Jobs have been advocating for a range of initiatives that have been proven to work, but the Government hasn't been listening.

"Paula Bennett has continually ignored the advice and recommendations of these groups and has refused to guarantee funding for programmes like Youth Transitions Services." says Sleep.

Paula Bennett is not one to shy away from touting her record and actions to fix the problem, but the numbers aren't improving.

"It's time for Paula Bennett and the National Government to take immediate responsibility for the tens of thousands of young unemployed New Zealanders and take bold action"

Sleep says it's time to get them into work, education or training and stop leaving them behind.

ENDS

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