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    Youth Report
    From The Employment Task force

    from The Jobs Letter No.3 / 26 October 1994

    " If action is taken now, we, as a nation, have a chance to make a positive difference for this year's school leavers ..."
    -- from the report.
    " Young people experienced larger falls in employment than any other age group during the 1980's recession. "

  • AIMS
    To ensure that every young person leaving school in 1994 has access to education, training or work opportunities.

    To ensure that all young people under the age of 20 have access to education, training or work opportunities by 1997-8.

    Every year 50,000 young people leave school.
    About 7,000 of these will become unemployed.
    One in five 15-19 yr olds is unemployed.
    One in three Maori 15-19 yr olds is unemployed.

    " As a nation our goal must be a situation where everyone who wants paid work has the chance to get it. The only form of unemployment that is acceptable is where people are moving between jobs..."
    -- from the report

    " Employment growth must be a more central and specific objective in policy considerations. "

    "All students must leave school with the skills necessary to participate in further education, training or work, and with the desire and ability to continue learning throughout their lives."

    " Work as our parents and grandparents knew it has changed forever. For all but a tiny minority the days of the 40-year career have gone. Most workers will have several employers and probably more than one career. Young people will need to update their specific skills and knowledge constantly throughout their working lives.... "

    Copies of the report are available by writing to the Prime Ministerial Task Force on Employment, Box 55, Wellington

    The interim report from the Task Force was released on 13 October 1994. It addresses many issues concerning young people, and hopes to influence current decisions affecting this year's school leavers. The report has been presented to the Prime Minister who has referred it to members of the multi-party group which includes the Labour Party and the Alliance.

    The report outlines a set of eight key principles that will guide their overall recommendations for an employment strategy.
  • under the Treaty of Waitangi, while general proposals are made, specific proposals are also made to provide equity to young Maori, and also Pacific Islanders
  • assistance must be focussed on the needs of the individual and be therefore flexible
  • families play an important role, especially as children's first educators and need to be supported in this
  • the wisdom of local communities must be drawn upon
  • a skilled, adaptable workforce is created by continual learning throughout the working life through coordinated, flexible and adaptable education and training systems
  • Income support should encourage people into education, training or employment
  • the emphasis must be on results so programmes must be closely monitored
  • employment growth must be a more central and specific objective in policy considerations

    Objectives and proposals for action have been developed in five main areas:

  • early childhood education and care, - to develop self-esteem and an inquiring mind
  • the role of the school - to ensure that all children leave with a sound base of `generic skills'
  • transition to the world beyond school - more options at school and provision of better careers advice and information
  • targeting unemployed young people as a priority for assistance
  • Income Support policies - reinforcing the message that young people should be in education, training or work

    Early Childhood Care
    Early childhood education and care should be a priority for government spending. which is currently low by international standards. The provision of such services can also help get carers into paid work.

    All parents with children under three, particularly those on low incomes, should have access to a broad range of support and assistance through such programmes as `Parents as First Teachers' (PAFT) and Family Support Centres, with Maori pilots started immediately.

    More training and resources need to be given to Kohanga Reo staff and greater recognition of the needs of Pacific Island parents and their early childhood teachers.

    Encourage the use of early childhood servicers by Pacific Island parents.

    First priority for early childhood spending should be the provision of early childhood services and subsidies for low income families

    Low income caregivers should have access to 15 hrs subsidised childcare per week

    The role of the school
    All students should be screened systematically for learning difficulties and health problems and these to be dealt with on an individual basis.

    More training is needed for Maori language and Pacific Island teachers with more monitoring of Maori language programmes.

    All students should undertake life skills including parenting skills.

    Schools should place greater emphasis on employment outcomes for students.

    The most innovative learning and teaching methods should be identified and promoted.

    School Certificate should be replaced by a Record of Achievement and National Certificate when the Qualifications Framework is in place, and the form of assessment of Sixth form Certificate assessment should change.

    The provision of out-of-school services should be encouraged.

    Transition from School to work
    The adequacy, staff and funding of vocational guidance should be assessed early in 1995 and services increased by the end of the year.

    More Maori careers advisers are needed and also research on Maori student needs.

    Young people who have left school should have access to personal support on options available to them.

    Greater links are needed between schools, agencies and community groups which provide job search assistance.

    Raise the school leaving age to 17 by 1996/1997

    All young people should be in some form of education or training by 1997/1998 and by 1997/1998 having all young people under 20 should be in education, training or work.

    Making Unemployed young People a Priority
    Every young person leaving school in 1994 should be in education, training or work with individual assistance and access to the full range of government employment and training options after 13 weeks.

    The waiting period for government programmes should be reduced to 8 weeks for those leaving after 1994.

    School leavers found on registering with NZES to have significant literacy or numeracy difficulties to also be given immediate access to personalised assistance.

    The range of training places and programmes should be extended (eg Job Action, pre-employment and on-the-job training, Job Link, Jobs Plus for training).

    Young people could be staircased through a number of activities including job search seminars, Job Plus subsidies and compulsory participation in training or community employment initiatives.

    Employers should receive attractive subsidies to provide on the job training to young unemployed people for up to six months.

    The focus of TOPs courses should possibly shift toward adult remedial education.

    The $50/week charge for Limited Service Volunteers should be dropped

    The payment for Community Taskforce should be increased to $30/ three days.

    Assistance to be given to meet the costs of taking up work.

    Ways of using cultural and leisure pursuits such as sport, music, dance, kapa haka and drama to assist young people to improve their employment prospects should be implemented.

    Young people should have access to fully subsidised community work, once all other means of assistance have been tried. This should be paid at an appropriate wage rather than on a benefit

    Reinforcing the message through Income Support
    Remove delays in accessing Family Support to beneficiaries taking up paid work

    The should be a more generous level of support for families with 16-18 year old children

    Income Support payments should be dependent on the children attending school or training

    Make the age of eligibility of Unemployment, Sickness and training benefits 18 years

    The financial motive to leave school to go on a TOPs course should be removed

    The dole should start with a job search allowance followed by the benefit and individual assistance and requirements to participate in approved activities

    Keep the Independent Youth Benefit in place by make access to it dependent on participating in agreed activities.

    Individualised management of young unemployed people could be contracted out to community groups

    Government should identify a programme of expenditure allocation and budget provision in order to have these proposals in place and universally accessible within 2-3 years.

    The Employment Taskforce is
    John Anderson -- Chief exec National Bank
    Vicki Buck -- Mayor of Christchurch
    Shona Butterfield -- Principal Open Polytech
    Ken Douglas --President CTU
    Bob Field -- Chief Exec Toyota
    June Jackson -- Manukau Urban Maori Authority
    John Marsh -- NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute
    Steve Marshall -- NZ Employers Federation
    Paul Carpinter -- PM's Department
    Chloe Munro -- Treasury
    Paula Rebstock -- Department of Labour

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