National returns to youth rates
The CTU's youth wing, Stand Up, says National's 'Starting Out' wage released this morning is a return to youth rates which will not help the ticking time bomb that is youth unemployment.
Spokesperson James Sleep says "the Government has flip flopped over the issue of youth rates and the return will only mean poorer young people and greater uncertainty for those over 16 and 17."
"This is a clear return to youth rates and the Government has let down those they claim to be helping. Youth rates do not create jobs. They create poverty for those on them, and job insecurity for those not on them."
Sleep says the Government has ignored calls for more support at a community level to address youth unemployment.
"The Government has ignored constructive attempts by groups such as the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs to implement on a national scale effective initiatives that have been proven to get young people into work."
"Greater investment in youth transitions and employment schemes is where the Government should be heading."
"The Government should be focusing on strengthening wrap around support for young people who are falling through the cracks after school, as well as expanding current employment schemes that are only a drop in the bucket."
Recent DOL research showed that raising the 16-17 year old minimum wage in 2008 resulted in no increase in unemployment because it encouraged more young people into education. National is also proposing reducing the quality of training that is required for young people by allowing them to be paid the training rate for only 40 instead of 60 credit points.