New job numbers out today will be cold comfort to a generation of young New Zealanders whose employment prospects grow bleaker by the day, Labour's Youth Affairs spokesperson Megan Woods says.
"Time and again we hear about Europe's 'Lost Generation", yet since John Key took office the number of unemployed 15-24 year olds has grown by almost 13,000 while in the 20-29 year age group there's now a staggering 45,900 people not working.
"Despite John Key's assurances that his policies would create jobs in the private sector, they haven't materialised. At the same time he has cut jobs across the public sector.
"New graduates are screaming out for work.
"They are highly educated. They are skilled and talented people who simply cannot find work.
"It is not for want of trying. Talk to almost any university graduate and they'll tell you about growing piles of rejection letters.
"These young people are paying the price of National's failure to address joblessness. They are the demographic that all the commentators say are likely to remain out of the workforce permanently if they are excluded now. And no amount of welfare reform will be able to fix that.
"We simply can't continue to let our young people languish with no tangible hope of a secure future in their own country.
"What's needed is a real commitment on a scale that will turn this trend around.
"Labour would make the dole available as a subsidy to employers to hire young people in the skilled trades.
"We are prepared to get stuck in and create jobs in the regions by having an active regional development programme, and we are committed to making the necessary structural change in the economy to create high-value, well-paid jobs," said Megan Woods.
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