Tena koutou katoa, He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa i tenei ahiahi. Nau mai haere mai tauiti mai!
At Skill New Zealand, our mission is SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FOR WORK , leading to full participation in a knowledge society for all New Zealanders.
Today, our focus is on effective youth transitions. We have identified a "black hole" that too many young people fall into between school and later life – they are not at school, they're not in training, they're not in work: they need help.
The Household Labour Force Survey results for June show that over 15 percent of people aged 15 to 19 are unemployed. Although this figure has been decreasing over the past year, it's still too high.
Moreover, around 6,000 young people identified themselves as 'actively seeking work' but still at school. Given that overall, unemployment has dropped to its lowest point since 1998, these figures are particular cause for concern.
We must look for joined-up solutions to what are clearly joined-up problems. The key is providing a variety of accessible pathways to work and further learning with an appropriate level of support and linkage.
Government initiatives are strengthening pathways for students – from school to tertiary education, from school to the workforce, and from the workforce back into the education system.
We are working in partnership with schools, Career Services and others to build our knowledge of young people's needs. This project will be a valuable resource to develop wider range of pathways and services for them and for schools.
We're getting good results with our current investments in smooth transitions for young people, but we don't want to rest on our laurels – we want to do better and look forward to the insights this new project will give us.
Let me share some of our successes with you:
Gateway: Over 700 students in 24 schools across the country are now piloting our new Gateway programme. Senior students can now participate in structured workplace learning while they're still at school. They pursue individual learning programmes, allowing them to gain new skills and knowledge in a workplace in their local community. The learning is hands-on and practical and gives them new opportunities to begin nationally-recognised qualifications.
Youth Training: An effective Skill New Zealand education and labour market programme for young low-qualified school leavers. More than 13,000 young people participated in Youth Training last year. 65% -that's 6700 of them- achieved positive outcomes. Most moved into employment while the remainder progressed into further training or education Around 45% of trainees in 2000 were Mäori - they achieved their highest level of positive outcomes yet: 59%.
Rangatahi Mäia: Mäori trades training, Rangatahi Mäia, gives our rangatahi the practical skills they need to get the jobs they want, with a focus on Mäori culture with Te Reo and Tikanga built into the training. . Last year, around three-quarters of the people on Rangatahi Mäia achieved positive outcomes. Tupulaga Le Lumana'i training for Pacific people also had over three-quarters positive outcomes last year.
I look forward to working with Career Services, the CDC, and the schools involved with this project and I look forward to the greater understanding of the world of young people that I hope will result.
Ka nui ra mo naianei, no reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.