Bridging the gap between school and work
From Nine To Noon, 12 September 2023
A nationwide youth employment advocacy group fears more and more young people are falling through the cracks between leaving school, and finding their place in education or employment.
The most recent data from Stats NZ shows 11.2 percent of 15-24-year-olds are not in employment, education or training, over 72,000 young people. A Ministry of Social Development survey of students found around half of respondents had no exposure to a careers advisor at school. The same survey found 57 percent of employers were dissatisfied with the work-readiness of the school leavers. Youth Employability Aotearoa says common issues for young people are a lack of confidence and feeling unprepared for the workforce, as well as decreasing literacy and numeracy rates. This week, the Good Youth Employment Symposium will bring together the youth sector, aiming to bridge the gap, and help connect school leavers with employers. Kathryn speaks with Shirley Johnson, national coordinator of the umbrella group Youth Employability Aotearoa who is the organiser of the symposium, and Charlotte Bradley-Peni, who runs the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs for the Westland District Council, which helps support young people into jobs.