Youth Employment Focus of Vote 2017


Helping more young people be work ready is a priority for both major parties in this year’s election, recognising the issues that communities like Kāpiti are tackling to reduce youth unemployment.

Work Ready Kāpiti spokesperson Bryan Gundersen says it’s encouraging to see National and Labour are both committed to supporting more youth into jobs.

“Labour’s School Leaver’s Toolkit has a range of measures that echo the work that’s already underway through Work Ready Kāpiti.  Their proposed kit will:

  • help young people gain a driver’s license with five hours of driving lessons and free testing for their learners’ and restricted licence before they leave school,

  • ensure young people have core skills needed by employers (including life skills like teamwork, and being an active member of the community),

  • teach financial and budgeting skills, and

  • ensure young people have professional, personalised career advice before leaving high school.

“Meanwhile National’s focus is on:

  • guaranteeing work experience or training for those under the age of 25 who have been on a jobseekers benefit for six months or longer,

  • financial management training to help them develop budgeting and essential money skills, and

  • supporting people become drug-free, providing rehabilitation services if drug use is identified as a barrier to employment,” says Bryan Gunderson.

While these plans offer two slightly different approaches to unravelling the issue of youth unemployment, they both have the same aim of helping more young people become contributing members of our communities, benefiting places like Kāpiti both socially and economically.

“Work Ready Kāpiti has had a fantastic response from the community, with both National and Labour acknowledging our local work at a recent Meet the Candidates debate. At our first event last month, more than 70 young people and employers were able to connect, with some great employment opportunities coming from the mixer. Demand for more events has been high, and we are already planning a series for 2018.

“We recognise more young people need help to gain the skills they need for employment.  Work Ready Kāpiti is providing practical tools and support for young people and employers, and we look forward to working alongside the next Government to help reduce Kāpiti’s youth unemployment rate,” says Bryan Gundersen.