Youth employment a pressing issue – convincing policies needed

Youth employment a pressing issue – convincing policies needed

“There are some sensible ideas in Labour’s youth employment policy, but others would make it harder to employ young people, says BusinessNZ.

“BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said the sensible ideas included a personalised education plan for every secondary student and enhancing the Gateway scheme. There was lot of work already being done to promote youth employment and it was good that Labour would retain Youth Guarantee, NZ Apprenticeships, the Reboot Scheme, Maori Trades Training, and Pasifika Trade Training.

“But he said the proposal to pay employers the equivalent of the dole if they take on an unemployed 18 or 19 year old (‘kick start apprenticeships’) contradicts Labour’s other employment policies of an increased minimum wage, no starting out wage, and no trial periods, and these policies make it less likely that employers would find the ‘kick start’ proposal workable.

“He said Labour’s proposal to require all people under 20 to be in work, education or training, without any supporting information on the quality and likely employment outcomes of the education and training or how it would be costed, delivered and paid for, was not convincing.

“Other elements of Labour’s policy were more promising.

“Enhancing the Gateway programme, that provides workplace learning for students while keeping them in school, is a good idea. More students should have the opportunity to be exposed to Gateway programmes where they are done well. Care needs to be taken in targeting ‘at risk’ students that we don’t destroy existing successful programmes like the retail sector’s Red Shirt in Schools programme.

“Requiring a personalised education plan to be developed for every high school student to guide their learning is also a good idea, provided the process also includes good quality careers information and guidance. Making this a reality would require a substantial strengthening of careers guidance and stronger accountability by school Boards for their career guidance responsibilities.”

Contact Phil O’Reilly 04 4966552 or Kathryn Asare 021 555 744

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4 Aug, 2014

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