Published: 24 April 2020
News type: National news
The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) has signaled its support for youth employability to be assessed when evaluating funding applications to Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP). Chair of MTFJ, Mayor Max Baxter wrote to CIP chair Mark Binns to express the Taskforce's desire to see young people supported into employment and training as a criteria for funding, especially in regards to 'Shovel Ready' projects.
Young people will be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis. An increase in youth unemployment will result in house hold incomes starting to fall and therefore creating additional social pressures for families. Ensuring that young people are supported to stay connected to the workforce is increasingly important, as they are likely to be laid off during times of economic uncertainty.
Mayor Max Baxter's letter can be found below:
E te rangatira, tēnā koe Mr Binns
As a nationwide network of New Zealand’s Mayor’s committed to supporting the creation of jobs and supporting our young people with the skills that they need for a thriving future, we hope that this letter finds you well.
As Chair of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), I am writing to you to express our collective desire for youth employability to be one of the criteria that is assessed when evaluating funding applications to Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
When assessing applications for ‘Shovel Ready’ projects, we ask that priority is given to projects that support the aspirations and mobilisation of young people entering the workforce. Procurement and policy response measures will play a crucial role in our country’s fight against COVID-19, by ensuring that our most vulnerable people don’t get left behind and are supported to meaningfully contribute to our economy.
The reasons young people face barriers to entering the workforce are multifaceted and complex, they range from having a lack of connections to employers, unfamiliar with processes around the world of work, and having little to no work experience.
If we heed lessons from history, recessions tend to hit the vulnerable and young people hardest. During the global financial crisis of 2008, the unemployment rate in New Zealand increased for those aged 15 – 19 to 25 per cent in 2009. Young people will be disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19 and therefore will create an increase in unemployment, working poverty and underemployment.
We must continue to encourage the skills and talents of our young people during these trying times and we believe that that considering a youth employability framework while assessing applications to CIP would be of merit. The success of our young people is vital to the prosperity of New Zealand.
Like our Central Government partners, MTFJ is committed to ensuring that New Zealand has a highly skilled and innovative economy that provides well paid, meaningful and sustainable jobs now and in to the future.
I look forward to hearing your response to this concept and I wish you well during these times.
Nāku noa, nā
Chair of MTFJ
Mayor Ōtorohanga District Council