3 May 2012
Youth unemployment needs to be a priority
The CTU's youth sector, Stand Up, is alarmed at the increase in youth unemployment for 15-24 year olds, and calls on the Government to make youth unemployment a top priority.
Stand Up Spokesperson James Sleep says the consistently high and growing youth unemployment figures show the Government is not putting enough resources into tackling the problem, and policies like the starting out rate will not solve this problem.”
"The number of young 15-24 year olds out of work, education and training (NEETs) has increased from 83,000 to 87,000; outnumbering the population of Palmerston North.” says Sleep.
Sleep says the decision by the Government to only fund youth transition services for 16 and 17 year olds will lead to thousands of young unemployed people over 18 being left without any support.
“Funding has been cut from several effective youth services, such as the Workn’ It Out scheme in Otago, due to the narrowing of funding parameters to only 16-17 year olds. This leaves many young people who are struggling to find work without the support they need to get into a job.”
“We welcome a focus on 16 and 17 year olds. However, narrowing the funding to only this group is leading to successful youth services preparing to close their doors. The Workn’ It Out scheme has been the cornerstone of the fight against youth unemployment in Otago”
“These numbers show the Government’s approach to addressing youth unemployment is failing. These numbers are nothing to be proud of,” concludes Sleep.