A Bill that aims to help some of the 84,000 young New Zealanders not in education, training or work, into a job has been lodged into the Parliamentary ballot by Labour MP for Wigram, Megan Woods, today.
"The Bill will make a subsidy equivalent to the unemployment benefit available to employers who make a commitment to taking on an apprentice.
"Our kids are our future, yet we have a generation of young people whose future is looking bleak unless we take positive steps to address this problem. I don’t want to watch a generation of young people fall through the cracks or jump on a plane to Australia.
"My Social Security Amendment (Apprenticeship Assistance for Youth) Bill is about giving some of those young people an opportunity to use their talents to become productive members of the community.
"At the same time it recognises that employers may be struggling to take on apprentices in tough economic times and provides them with an incentive to train and mentor a young person.
"It offers an excellent opportunity to align the training needs of young people with the opportunities employers may be able to provide for the future skills needs of New Zealand.
"It is a great chance, for example, to up-skill our youth and make a real contribution to the anticipated demand for tradespeople in areas such as Auckland, where there is a shortage of residential housing, and in Christchurch for the post-earthquake rebuild," Megan Woods said.
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