Spokesperson for Employment and Youth Affairs
19 July 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Jobless youth rate shocker, says Labour
A critical report that condemns New Zealand’s shocking youth unemployment rate reflects the Government’s do-nothing
attitude, Labour’s spokesperson for Employment and Youth Affairs, Jacinda Ardern, says.
The New Zealand Institute’s More ladders, fewer snakes: Two proposals to reduce youth advantage, shows little progress is being made in the areas of youth unemployment, crime, and health and safety outcomes, and
calls for immediate action to solve the burgeoning youth unemployment.
“The Institute is critical of New Zealand’s current school-to-work transition services, noting that many young school
leavers find themselves without permanent work.They have left school without any form of guidance and without any future
“Compared with other OECD countries our education system is failing to provide adequate support for young people aged 15
and over; many of whom are leaving school with little or no qualifications and who are struggling to find work in an
already competitive job market,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“This is not a new issue - it was highlighted by the Mayor's Taskforce for Jobs - yet the Government ignored their
recommendations as well. It reinforces Labour’s call for the Government to focus on young people's transition from
secondary school to work.
“The cost of doing nothing is high. The report estimates that the cost from youth unemployment, youth incarceration, and
youth on the sole parent benefit is around $900 million each year.
“Kiwis aged 15-24 make up 45% of the total number of unemployed. Rather than just sitting back and hoping that the
situation will take care of itself, the Government needs to act on some of the recommendations in this report now, and
start making young people in this country a priority,” Jacinda Ardern said.