National’s plan is working


National’s plan for a brighter future is working – and as a consequence so are more young people:

The latest HLFS employment figures show the Government’s focus on young people is paying off, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett say.

“An increase of 28,500 (9.3 per cent) 15 to 24 year-olds in work over the past year and the lowest number of young people not being in employment, education, or training since 2008 is promising news for them and their families,” Mr Joyce says.

“Through our Business Growth Agenda the Government has been investing heavily in education and training to lift the skills and qualifications of our young people while matching the needs of employers.

“Initiatives such as Youth Guarantee, the Apprenticeship Reboot and Maori and Pasifika Trades Training are proving very successful in providing young people with important skills they will have for life.”

Mrs Bennett says the Government’s investment in youth services as part of the welfare reforms was also having a big impact in reducing the number of NEETs.

“Government funded youth providers are actively supporting 9,602 NEETs to get enrolled and remain in education, training or work based learning,” Mrs Bennett says.

“The Government’s Job Streams subsidies are encouraging more employers to give young people a go in good jobs with training. Thanks to these subsidies 2,578 young people got jobs.

“The Government is proud of what we are achieving in making a real difference for young people to get work and to get on with a bright future ahead of them.”

Employment has been lagging other positive indicators so this improvement is very encouraging.

Youth who go from school to a benefit are likely to stay on it for longer at a huge cost to them and the country financially and in terms of social outcomes like poorer health and a greater likelihood of committing crimes.

Keeping young people in education or getting them into training or work has both social and economic benefits for them and the rest of us.
>National’s focus on young people is paying off and making a real difference:

Choice beats compulsion


Labour’s school plus policy  will require everyone under 18 to be at school or in training.

National’s youth guarantee policy gives 16 and 17 year olds the choice of school, training or work. They can also choose to do nothing but won’t get a benefit while doing it.

Labour’s policy takes no account of the real world where there are some young people who don’t fit in the school system, can’t wait to leave, will buckle down and work but don’t want any more formal learning.

National’s policy recognises that one-size doesn’t fit all and that some people will learn better outside school and some are better in work than in a classroom.

We see quite a few of these on farms.

They’re sick of school, not interested in any other form of formal learning but they’re happy to work. Some of them will take up the opportunity to gain AgITO qualifications later and do well because they can see a point to what they’re learning but if they were forced into the classroom earlier they’d have dropped out.

Choice versus compulsion? No contest.

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