Auckland to focus on getting youth into work

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 13:11 09/04/2014

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Auckland Mayor Len Brown is setting up an office to co-ordinate the efforts of the council, local boards and businesses to boost youth employment.

He told a summit to launch the Youth Employment Traction Plan today that despite signs of an improving economy, youth unemployment in the city was still too high.

More than 27,000 young Aucklanders were not in education, employment or training, and more than half of this group were Maori and Pacific, Brown said.

"We simply can't afford to have so many of our young people at risk of a lifetime of unemployment, particularly at a time when our region is experiencing strong economic growth," he said.

The Auckland Council says the youth employment plan will build on the Youth Connections Across Auckland initiative that has helped more than 500 young people find jobs.

The council will work with Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED), businesses and the Government to develop solutions for employing young people.

The work will be co-ordinated by a "traction hub" being established in ATEED's downtown office.

The hub will encourage more of the Auckland region's local boards to back youth employment initiatives.

Brown said that out of 21 local boards in the Auckland region, only 10 were participating in the Youth Connections programme.

Businesses attending the summit at Vodafone's Viaduct Harbour headquarters were invited to make suggestions and commitments to support the initiative.

Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall said the Tindall Foundation would continue to support the Youth Connections programme with a $1.85 million contribution over the next three years.

Brown pledged that the council would increase its graduate programme from 17 young people to 50 this year, and increase its cadetship programme from 10 to 20 next year.

The council said further summits would focus on specific youth employment issues.

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- Fairfax Media

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