Govt's Youth Service Gets A Fail Mark From Treasury

07 February 2017

The government’s answer to reduce numbers of unemployed youth has been found to be an embarrassing failure, says New Zealand First.


The government’s Youth Service programme has been found to put more youth on a benefit rather than keeping them in school or finding them a job, according to a new Treasury report released Friday, says New Zealand First Social Development Spokesperson Darroch Ball.


“Treasury analysed the effectiveness of the Youth Service which was extended by National in 2015 and is meant to encourage and assist disadvantaged youth to stay in education and off the benefit. 


“It’s a dismal failure. In fact, Treasury says it leads to more young people moving onto benefits.  Figures showed youth who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs), is up to a staggering 13.6% or 91,000 young people nationally - the highest number in four years.


“National is desperately trying to stem the flow of our youth dropping out of school and becoming disengaged – but the services they are providing are demonstrably failing.


“The report stated that the Youth Service has failed to materially raise qualification achievement, did not find any evidence of positive impacts on employment rates and has not even succeeded at stopping these youth from being NEET.


“New Zealand First warned the government in 2015 about expanding this system without the evidence that it actually worked.


“Instead of funding proactive and preventative pathways for our young people to be trained and skilled for our trades and jobs markets, the government is obsessed with placing youth on meaningless courses.


“Now the Minster of Social Development Anne Tolley has a number of questions she needs to answer – including what is she going to do now that this cornerstone of the government’s evidence-based social investment approach for our unemployed youth is clearly failing?” says Mr Ball.