The Labour Party in New Zealand is all set to woo the electorate with a $17 million employment package for the youth. According to a report by New Zealand Herald, this is a major political initiative targeting the young voters. The Internet Party of Kim Dotcom is also in the fray with a heavy appeal among the youth.
The Labour Party has already reached out to the working class with a promised hike in minimum wages from $14.25 an hour to $15 within 100 days of its taking office. Subsequently, it will be increased to $16.25 an hour in the coming year.
New Career Agency
The core of Labour party's new employment plan envisages dismantling the existing career and employment agency and replacing it with a brand new national agency. The Labour party will also ramp up the dole for apprenticeship accorded to the young and jobless.
Grant Robertson, the employment and training spokesman of the Labour party, is giving the final touches to the package and more details will be out in the days to come.
The replacement of Careers New Zealand with a new agency to oversee the national careers strategy will be a significant step. The Labour Party promises a corpus of $17 million to create the new career agency. The allocation will be for 4 years, and the bulk of it will be diverted to help career guidance in schools.
The mandate of the new agency will be to bring together schools, employers, higher education providers and career advisory experts in a single platform. The agency will also cover adults who might be looking for a change in profession.
To increase the exposure of youth to work places, the Labour party will convert dole payments into incentives for employers so that they will be motivated to recruit more apprentices.
Gap with Australia widening
Meanwhile, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte has charged both Labour and National parties for having failed to close the country's economic gap with Australia. In 1999, Australia's per capita GDP was 25 per cent higher than New Zealand. Today, the gap is a whopping 65 per cent.
The Act Party feels the only way to promote economic welfare of New Zealanders is cutting company tax rates. That is the easiest way as company tax raises less revenue for the government compared to other income streams such as Income tax and goods and services tax or GST.