Pathways for better opportunities for youngsters

Labour Party Ethic Caucus Team
Wellington, September 14, 2022

Our government believes that everyone should have the chance to succeed, including young people who need a little bit of extra support to get back on the right track.

That is why we are stepping up pathways to better opportunities, by supporting more young people into jobs and training to prevent them from getting involved in crime.

We recently released our Better Pathways package, which extends programmes that have a record of success in helping young New Zealanders into better futures and driving down youth crime.

Scaled up Programmes

All of the programmes that we are scaling up, including He Poutama Rangatahi and the Ākonga Fund, play slightly different roles – ranging from helping people into education, training and employment, to more general wrap-around support. But they are all working successfully to help at-risk young people turn their lives around.

Right now, youth offending is down from where it was a decade ago but we know that there is still work to do. By investing in pathways to better opportunities for more young New Zealanders, we are helping to break the cycle of crime and gang activity and make Aotearoa safer.

At the same time, we are building on our strong law and order record by increasing the consequences for individuals who cause harm in our communities.

We have already delivered New Zealand’s largest ever Police service, and now we are changing the law to give them greater powers to seize gang assets, to ensure crime does not pay.

Focus on Employment

Our focus on providing pathways to better opportunities is not limited to at-risk young people. Right across the country, we are creating jobs, helping people to work and supporting more New Zealanders to upskill.

The latest figures show that unemployment has remained at near record lows thanks to our economic approach that supports families and businesses, resulting in more people in work and rising wages. We are also making good progress on growing the workforce that we need to thrive.
More than 200,000 people have now benefitted from our free apprenticeships and trades training programmes. We also recently reached the milestone of 50,000 New Zealanders through Apprenticeship Boost, which supports employers to keep and take on new apprentices.

This is really important as we know that without initiatives like this, we risk losing our apprentices and facing a massive skills shortage, as happened after the Global Financial Crisis.

We are really proud of these programmes. Not only are they giving more people the chance to upskill, but they are also helping families get ahead, businesses grow, and ultimately, they contribute to our nation’s success.

As we move forward with our plan to create economic security for all, we will continue to invest in pathways to better opportunities for New Zealanders.

 

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