Trust seeks drop in youth jobless
A Waikato trust tasked with connecting businesses with schools is calling on employers to help decrease youth unemployment in the region.
Smart Waikato has developed BEST Youth, or Business Engaging Skilled and Talented Youth, which is an initiative to encourage businesses to engage with youth and create better working opportunities for young people in the region.
Smart Waikato regional manager Mary Jensen said the "staggering" numbers around global youth unemployment were the impetus for the initiative.
Almost 75 million youth worldwide do not have meaningful work, the International Labour Conference held in Geneva in June has reported.
New figures yesterday from Statistics New Zealand said 84,000, or 13.1 per cent, of the country's 640,000 young people (aged 15 to 24 years) were not in employment, education or training in the three months to June 30.
That is a slight improvement on the first quarter of the year but is an increase on this time last year when the number stood at 12.8 per cent.
“Waikato is probably slightly worse off than the rest of New Zealand because we have a higher population of young people and a higher population of Maori who are unfortunately over-represented in these statistics," Jensen said.
She addressed business leaders and education professionals in Hamilton this week to explain the BEST Youth initiative and to call on Waikato leaders for support.
The trust wants to collaborate with businesses, students and tertiary education providers to develop opportunities, and Smart Waikato is challenging Waikato businesses to take on and train up one young person each.
Smart Waikato will also be taking an inventory of current internships, apprenticeships and cadetships available for youth in the region.
"We want to encourage the old system of cadetship so youth channel into the workplace a lot more quickly and . . . we want to make it easy for the employer to do," Jensen said. "It's about our region looking after our young people."
- © Fairfax NZ News