Labour promises jobs for the unemployed

Andrew Little (Jenna Lynch/Newshub.)
Andrew Little (Jenna Lynch/Newshub.)

Young and struggling to find a job? Labour's promising to give you one.

Under Labour's Ready for Work proposal, announced today at the party's annual conference in Auckland, anyone under 24 who's been on the Jobseeker's Allowance for six months will be offered a job by the Government.

"We will give these young Kiwis the kick-start they need to get back on the right track," said leader Andrew Little. "This job experience will help them develop strong work ethics and make them more attractive to employers. We will get them ready for work."

Mr Little says they won't be "flashy jobs" - only paying the minimum wage and only for six months - but they'll be "hands-on stuff".

"They will be carrying out important environmental and community work," says Mr Little, who expects about 10,000 youths to sign up each year.

"Right now the Department of Conservation is struggling to meet its goals in the face of funding and staff cuts. Councils and others are also crying out for help."

Mr Little says the $60 million price tag will "result in large savings" over time.

Labour promises jobs for the unemployed

Andrew Little (Jenna Lynch / Newshub.)

"It's an investment we need to make for our young and for society… We won't let them waste away. We'll give them a job. We'll give them opportunities. We'll give them the fair shot they need."

It's the third in a series of new Labour policies focused on young people, including slowly rolling out three years' free tertiary education and an apprenticeships programme.

Yesterday Labour also said it was considering a levy on businesses that don't train and upskill their employees.