90,000 young Kiwis have no job, no training to go to
Every morning, Kyle Goldman logs on to job seeking sites, hoping to change his predicament.
The 24-year-old is among the 90,000 young Kiwis aged 15 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training and risk becoming socially isolated. Almost 4000 of those are newly-unoccupied Cantabrians.
Goldman, a former sponsored skateboarder, was treated for mental health issues between 2012 and 2015.
In 2015, he landed a job at Hell's Pizza as a delivery person – until his car broke down.
In the last month, he applied for at least 20 jobs. He landed eight interviews, but missed out on them all.
The Christchurch man put his lengthy job hunt down to his recovery and time out of employment.
"They're not giving me a chance."
Statistics New Zealand figures for the March 2017 quarter identified an extra 3900 unoccupied youths in Canterbury compared to March 2016.
Nationally, more than a third (32,900) of young people without jobs, education or training to keep them busy were in Auckland, followed by 11,100 in Wellington. Canterbury has about 10,000.
The sudden leap in Canterbury's rate has sparked concern, given the national rate went from 13.2 to 13.5 per cent in the same period.
Catapult Employment Services Trust CEO Alison Brown said there appeared to be a disconnect between schools and the reality of work.
Young people who worked in after school jobs were more resilient and flexible. Those who had not were more likely to struggle, Brown said.
"If they go into a basic job, they can't see the career path ahead of them. Any job is a good start and they don't see that.
"That cohort ... have a different expectation of what work is," Brown said.
Brown said employers could do more to help the unoccupied group, who were more likely to be transitory, have accommodation troubles, little to no work history and no driver's licence.
"Employment, from my perspective is a two-way thing. It's not just 'you're coming to work for me'. It's a relationship. Employers – and a lot of them do – need to work on that relationship a little bit more."
298 Youth Health director Dr Sue Bagshaw said the figure reflected a failing on the Government's part to address the needs of unoccupied youths, many of whom faced additional challenges.
"That may be anything from the trauma of earthquakes, through to the trauma of not being attached to parents or parents who aren't there for you, through to being physically, sexually and emotionally abused."
She said unoccupied young people were at risk of living below the poverty line and becoming socially isolated.
Poverty stopped them doing things with others.
"[That] makes you feel even worse."
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Paul Goldsmith said the best way to get young people in work was to have an economy "generating jobs".
"The fact that the country generated 137,000 jobs last year means there are huge opportunities for young people looking for work."
Government initiatives such as Vocational Pathways, Trades Academies, and the Dual Pathways Pilot connected young people to education and employment, he said.
Labour Canterbury Issues spokeswoman Megan Woods said the figures were incredibly concerning and were a "potential risk to everybody".
"We do need to be prioritising training our young people. It's not tenable that we have more than 90,000 young people throughout the country who have no hope really for the future in terms of the fact they're not in education, employment and training."
Green Party Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment spokesman Gareth Hughes said the country risked leaving thousands behind, thanks in part to the cost of tertiary education.
"To put it in context, this is the size of Westport – just the increase in young Cantabrians not in work or in education."