Andrew Little announces new policy to cut youth unemployment.

By Heeni Brown

Labour leader Andrew Little has revealed a new policy in a bid to cut youth unemployment. The announcement was made this afternoon at the party's annual conference held over the weekend in Auckland.

Basically, it's a scheme worth $60mil a year for the benefit of 74,000 young people in NZ who aren't just out of work but aren't in training or education either. Under their Ready for Work policy, Labour are offering unemployed young people a full-time job for six months, with a free education.

In addition to their "Kiwi Dream", Labour want young people working. But the policy is not compulsory.

Kelvin Davis – Labour MP for Taitokerau says, “If they don't want to work, that's their problem."

It's also not about moving people from a region like Northland with nearly double the unemployment rate of all other regions and bring to cities for work.

Andrew Little – Labour Leader says, "It's not about fearing people around the countryside, it's about finding opportunities where they are, I think there's plenty flexibility in the scheme. It is about finding people out where people are and finding the opportunities where they are and getting them that first rung on the work habits, work practice kind of ladder."

Little says, young people who have been on the Jobseeker's Allowance in the Work Ready category for six months will be offered full-time employment for six months at the minimum wage.

Davis says, "For those that want to work, they can go to areas within Te Taitokerau to find work in the forest, to establish work within the forest and the moana, those sorts of jobs, and also find employment within Te Papa Atawhai.”

Little says, "What's an example of creating a job in like Kaitaia? So we've got like, let’s talk to DOC and see what work they've got in there and see what kind of opportunities they've got there. Let's talk to the like, not for profit organisations they've got up there and see what help they need to get a young person to working for those organisations."

The new policy is an addition to previous policy announcements like three years fee free education after high school and grants for young Kiwis who want to start their own business.