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Mike's Minute: The Government is failing our young unemployed

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 16 Feb 2023, 9:58AM

Mike's Minute: The Government is failing our young unemployed

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 16 Feb 2023, 9:58AM

The British Government has a new policy around unemployment and it’s the old carrot and stick.

There isn't anything new around employment thinking. It’s a combination of rules and incentives, the state of the market place in terms of jobs and the mix of attitude of those looking for work and the amount of assistance the state Government is prepared to offer.

In Britain they are cracking down, so you need to meet your welfare officer or get penalised or apply for jobs or get penalised. If you don’t play ball you will lose your benefit.

Here, it’s the opposite - if you don’t want to work no one seems to care.

The numbers contained in this year's Salvation Army report are heartbreaking.

Thousands upon thousands of young people are not only without work, they are not in training, not looking to improve themselves and aren't in education looking to add to their CV's.

They are literally doing nothing and for that we support them financially in some cases for years on end.

The great crime in that is, 1) they are young and therefore you are robbing them of a future that could be vastly different, and, 2) it comes at a time of extraordinary amounts of work.

It would be nice to think you could sort yourself out, that you are self-motivated or someone around you is there to help you on your way. But for clearly too many, that simply isn't their reality.

This all resonates with me because the age group we are dealing with are the 15-24-year-olds. That’s the age of all five of our kids.

They are all doing their own thing but what we told them as parents was you could do whatever you want, as long as it wasn’t nothing.

A couple have been on a specific path for a while and a couple have been working through various options. But at all times they have been busy and earning or studying or training.

To not have them do so is an abdication of parental responsibility

So why doesn’t the Government take the same view?

19 percent of young people in the Bay of Plenty do nothing, in Northland its 17 percent, Taranaki its 13 percent, Auckland its 11 percent. In total that's 67,000 people with no training, no education and no job.

Although we vote for polices that affect us our sense of the economy, health waiting lists etc, tell me how you can vote for a Government that for five years has allowed that number to get where it is, at a time when answers have been so plentiful?

If it's irresponsible as a parent, then surely it's as bad for a Government.

What Government can justify writing off the next generation by literally doing nothing except handing out money with no expectation of social, moral or economic improvement?

Yet, as we say, the numbers don’t lie.

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