Spokesperson for Employment and Youth Affairs
15 August 2011
Key unbelievable in dismissing lack of jobs
Prime Minister John Key’s attempt to play down any link between youth unemployment and a need to create jobs is almost
unbelievable, says Labour’s Employment and Youth Affairs spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.
“When he was interviewed on radio today, he said: ‘… the most important thing here is not necessarily to link the two
because they’re quite different things’,” Jacinda Ardern said.
"There are currently 58,000 young people who are not in employment, education or training. I hear stories on a daily
basis of these young people trying to find work, but the jobs just aren't there.
“New Zealanders aged 15-24 make up 45 per cent of the total number of our unemployed population. Our proportion of
unemployed youth is one of the highest in the OECD and worsening," Jacinda Ardern said.
“When National came in, there were roughly 220 under 24 year olds who had been on an unemployment benefit for more than
a year. That number is now eight times higher. This is about jobs, and making sure our young people are job ready. For
John Key to claim anything else just shows he's not willing to tackle the big issues."
“John Key’s latest bright idea --- giving young people on benefits food stamps --- won’t create a single new job. It's
time for John Key to take responsibility and finally present Kiwis with a plan for economic growth and job creation,"
Jacinda Ardern said.
“Our young people need jobs and skills, not welfare reform. John Key has no plan to create jobs. He even admits himself
that he relies on the private sector to do that.
“Under National, that’s simply not happening either, however,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand needs an economic plan
that focuses on building a strong export-led economy, skills, jobs and fairness. National has no such plan. While it is
preoccupied with food stamps, thousands of our young people are left feeling hopeless and disillusioned.
“In January 2008, John Key promised young people the future they deserve,” Jacinda Ardern said. “They deserve more than
food stamps. They deserve more than boot camps. They deserve jobs and training.”