At its conference in the weekend the Prime Minister revealed the National Party’s post-election plans to reduce the number of 16 and 17-year-olds not in work or training.
The Dominion Post described the Prime Minister’s plans to offer bonuses for firms that cut teen jobless figures by getting them into jobs or job training as “further privatisation of the welfare sector“.
Up to 13,500 are not in education, training or work. Of those, 1600 are already receiving a benefit.
Under the new policy the government will change privacy laws to allow those young people to be tracked down.
The government would appoint case managers, from private organisations, whose job it would be to get them into work or training.
Mr Key said about a third of the money paid to the organisations would be a bonus for meeting targets. They would also be paid more to deal with high-risk teens.
TEU national president Sandra Grey says plans to shepherd young people into jobs or training will only work if there are jobs and training places available. For example, there are less apprenticeships than there were last year. Funding for industry training organisations and polytechnics has been cut and is predicted to continue to fall.
“The prime minister should not punish young people who are not in tertiary education or training when his government has systematically cut funding and limited available places for young people wanting to study,” said Dr Grey.
“He would be punishing young people for his government’s own mistakes.”
“Our young people do want to study or work. Thousands have not been able to find places in tertiary institutions of their choice because of reduced funding and a cap on available places.”