PM Dreams Up Jobs Project As Election Bell Tolls

Not long ago Prime Minister Bill English called young out-of-work Kiwis “pretty damned hopeless”.

“He’s had a change of heart now the election bell is tolling,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Today he decided to spend about $12m a year for four years to get long term unemployed youth working. This is disgraceful, just 74 days from election day, after nine years of doing nothing, and hard on the heels of a housing bribe yesterday.

“Many young people have fallen by the wayside, and they were discarded by National on the scrapheap.

“Instead National filled the workforce with unskilled immigrants.

“What a waste for New Zealand.

“New Zealand First would pick youth up and help them get work ready.

“We’ve got policies that would do that:

• New Zealand has a Business Linked Internship Scheme and we trialled it in Warkworth in 2013.

“It stood up to the rigours of real life and benefited both small and medium-sized businesses and young people of the area and can be adopted quickly.

• Introduce a community wage scheme where young people can do jobs that councils need doing. “It would help people get out of bed, develop self-confidence and they would be proud of the job they are doing.

• Our Youth Employment Training and Education scheme will focus on young people who are not suited to classroom learning. “They’d move into paid work in the Defence force to learn a skill and improve their literacy and numeracy, and head into the workforce at 18.

“These schemes will stop the decay, help get young people work ready, and steer them away from drugs and off the sofa,” says Mr Peters.