Jobs and employment growth a top priority

Press Release – New Zealand First Party

“Unemployment is rising and the lack of jobs is a big worry to all of us. Failure to employ our potential workforce hurts families, stresses our communities, increases crime and strains our health and welfare systems,” says the Rt. Hon Winston Peters, …Rt. Hon Winston Peters Leader NZ First

November 17 2011

Jobs and employment growth a top priority

“Unemployment is rising and the lack of jobs is a big worry to all of us. Failure to employ our potential workforce hurts families, stresses our communities, increases crime and strains our health and welfare systems,” says the Rt. Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First.

“Tackling employment issues is a top priority for New Zealand First. The answer is a combined effort between government, local authorities, business and labour groups.”

“Our economic situation and geographic location means development and jobs creation must be export-led with the government playing a lead role.“ says Mr. Peters.

New Zealand First will:

• Put greater emphasis on developing links between the private sector and central and local government. This includes encouraging regional development, research and development, picking winning ideas, and empowering regions to develop local initiatives, using local talent.

• Apply incentives to business activities which add value, create employment, encourage innovation, and provide for export growth or import substitution.

• Remove unfair secondary tax and the ‘double tax’ on hard earned savings.

New Zealand First will kick start the process by:

• Introducing a new system of subsidising wages for employers who take on young, unemployed people for trade training and skills programmes. Initially the young person would be assessed for literacy and numeracy skills. These would be included as part of the training package. It is better that the dole money go towards training rather than paying a school leaver to do nothing. This system would be available to selected community minded employers for a period of twelve months. Progress of the individual would be monitored.

• Reintroducing the community wage policy requiring recipients to make a contribution to their communities. Local councils would be encouraged to use the community wage scheme for community projects, conservation and weed and pest control activities, and for beautification and maintenance of waterways, beaches, parks and roadsides.

• Ensuring that young people who are enrolled for the community wage are engaged in one of the following activities (a) seasonal employment (b) industry training (c) extended conservation or youth service corps or (d) for those at risk, military type discipline training.

New Zealand First is committed to industry training, managed by industry itself. New Zealand is facing a skills shortage across many sectors, hence the need for urgent action and we will:

• Continue to refine and develop industrial training with the ultimate aim of ensuring that all young people are either in work or participating in industry training or education. • Develop the “community wage” scheme to allow businesses to offer apprenticeships and other training schemes through a ‘topped up’ weekly wage system. • Support “computers in homes” programmes to help socially and economically disadvantaged households to improve their employment prospects. • Ensure that farmers and rural workers are able to access industry training funds • Review Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), with a view to using successful organisations as a model to establish best practice across the sector. • Extend the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme to older trainees and recognise the particular difficulties of displaced workers in the 50-plus age bracket and develop programmes to meet their particular needs and to combat ‘ageism’.

ENDS

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