Unsurprisingly no other questions followed from the opposition.
Youth Employment—Youth in Employment, Education, or Training
6. MELISSA LEE (National) to the Minister for Social Development: What reports has she received about the number of young people in employment, education or training?
Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development): I am very pleased to report that the latest household labour force survey shows that the number of young people not in employment, education, or training—known as “neets”, of course—continues to fall. The number of “neets” has fallen to 11.3 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds—down from 13.9 percent a year ago. This is the lowest number of young people who are not in any form of education or work since the December 2008 quarter.
Melissa Lee: What support is this Government providing to ensure that young people engage in employment, education, or training?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: This Government has invested heavily in ensuring young people at risk of long-term benefit dependency engage with a Youth Service provider, who can help get them into education or work. Unprecedented in getting results, we are seeing local youth workers working with our youth—getting alongside of them. Currently, there are 38 Youth Service NGO providers who are actively working with more than 9,000 of these “neets”. As a result 63 percent are currently engaged in education or training.
Melissa Lee: Why is it important to provide support to young people to ensure they are in employment, education, or training?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: Young people who are not engaged in work or education are at a high risk of not only going on to a benefit but equally staying on for a very long time. Sixty-two percent of 30 to 39-year-olds currently receiving a benefit first went on welfare as young people. But this Government, through our education policies and through our support via Youth Service, is making a difference, getting alongside of these young people and seeing them get into work and further education.