What is a country supposed to do when 6.78 per cent of its population makes up 50 per cent of its crime statistics? That 6.78 per cent in New Zealand is our young people, aged 15-19 years old. They have an unemployment rate of 24.6 per cent and this blue government doesn’t seem bothered.
Last week another common sense and timely piece of legislation was voted down by this blue government and the liberal left. New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball sponsored the Youth Employment, Training and Education Bill to create a programme to get youth between 15-17 years old into paid work through vocational pathways after they become disengaged from school.
This would expand and fully resource the Defence Force’s existing youth development unit to train youth – who clearly, are not engaged with the traditional education sector – in trade skills including hospitality, catering, construction and mechanics. They would obtain a driver’s licence, learn first aid and achieve literacy and numeracy to Level Two. A formal pathway to becoming capable, respectful and productive members of New Zealand society.
The greens voted it down because it utilises the military and this blue government and its yellow and bow-tied yes men also voted it down with inconsistent and confusing justifications.
15-24 year olds not in employment, education and training (NEET) figures are currently over 90,000 – up 20,000 in the past 12 months alone, showing the rapid growth in disconnection with these teens – and that is costing our country in productivity, morale, tax dollars, and is also clearly leading to increased crime.
A 22 per cent increase in youth unemployment in 12 months is completely unacceptable to all thinking New Zealanders, and this blue government continues to do nothing about it.
New Zealand First is offering realistic and achievable alternatives to having them fill a seat in a classroom they don’t want to be in, potentially interfering with their peers’ studies. This vote will not deter us from offering real solutions to real New Zealand challenges. September 23 is coming, and help is on its way.