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Steven Joyce

7 February, 2013

Labour wrong on youth education & training

Labour once again stands accused of putting the worst possible spin on youth education and training, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

“The reality is that the latest HLFS shows that just under 80 per cent of all 15-19 year olds in New Zealand are enrolled in education or training, with the total numbers up from 238,000 to 243,000 in the last quarter,” Mr Joyce says.

The survey shows that the number of young people who are both unemployed and not in education is 15,000.  While this is still too many, it represents only 4.8 per cent of the total cohort of 310,000.

An important point to note is that the headline HLFS unemployment percentage for 15-19 year olds is unusual in that it excludes the high number of young people who are in education and not in the labour market.

“The Government’s comprehensive youth education strategy is getting more young New Zealanders into education and training that will lead to jobs,” Mr Joyce says.

“Our fees-free Youth Guarantee scheme at tertiary education, the trades and services academies around the country, the new vocational pathways at secondary school, funding for Māori and Pasifika trades training, and the new apprenticeship reboot announced last month, all provide great options to get young people into trades and vocations.

“The Government remains fully focussed on providing options for young people to train for jobs as the economic recovery continues.”