13 Feb 2010

Employers urge reinstatement of youth pay rates

3:40 pm on 13 February 2010

An employer organisation says the latest figure for youth unemployment is a good reason to bring back youth rates.

With more than 72,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 out of work, the unemployment rate for this age group is 18.4%.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association says employers warned MPs that abolishing a lower minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-olds would hurt the very people they were trying to help.

Association spokesperson David Lowe says that there has to be an incentive for employers to hire teenagers when they could choose more experienced staff. He says abolishing youth pay rates when jobs are short won't work.