1 Sep 2011

Labour plan for youth skills and employment

8:04 pm on 1 September 2011

The Labour Party would pay the dole to employers as an incentive to take on young apprentices.

It is just one part of Labour's youth skills and employment policy aimed at ensuring all teenagers are either in work or learning within three years.

Leader Phil Goff says the package focuses on 24,000 people aged 15 to 19 who are currently not in work, education or training.

Under the policy announced on Thursday, Labour would convert dole payments into an $8700 subsidy to employers, paying for an extra 9000 apprentices.

It would also provide 5000 new training places for people aged 16 and 17, increase Maori and Pacific trade training, as well as supporting at-risk school leavers to ensure they went into work or further training.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says it is simply re-announcing the Government's policies, plus throwing taxes at the problem.

Labour leader Phil Goff says the policy would cost an extra $171 million over four years and is needed to prevent an already serious problem from becoming a costly social and economic disaster.