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New MTFJ tool gives youth unemployment issues nowhere to hide

A new Youth Employment Dashboard, launched today by the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), will provide councils with a spotlight to illuminate the causes and outcomes of their region’s youth unemployment issues.

The dashboard, developed by leading data analysts DOT Loves Data, will provide territorial authorities (TA) with relevant and timely data on how their local economies are tracking in regards to tackling youth unemployment.  The dashboard will display key labour market indicators such as: youth unemployment figures, Trade Me job vacancies, school leader attainment and destinations, the number of youth receiving a Jobseeker benefit, skill shortages and key employment industries. 

“We know that councils are well underway with their own economic COVID-19 recovery plans and we hope that the MTFJ Youth Employability Dashboard can support mayors and those working on the ground with young people to make better informed decisions on behalf of their communities,” says MTFJ Chair, Mayor Max Baxter from Ōtorohanga District Council. 

The dashboard is now publically available on the MTFJ website with data for all members of MTFJ.  

“Partnering with DOT Loves Data to provide a one-stop-shop on youth employability performance and indicators has arrived at the perfect time, with our MTFJ Community Recovery Programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), rolling out to 23 rural councils throughout the country which will create 1,150 sustainable employment placements for youth nationally.”

“Feedback from councils have been that it has been challenging to access updated data on how their communities are tracking in regards to youth unemployment.  The Youth Employability Dashboard displays the data in an easy and digestible way, alongside making comparisons to the national averages of some data sets, we can monitor and track improvements with TA’s over time.”

“Historically, to access this level of data, you would have to source files from different websites and spreadsheets, which can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating to find what you are after.”

“Young people continue to be at the forefront of job redundancies.  We need to ensure that local and central government are working closely together and investing in the skill development pathways that will provide sustainable job opportunities for young people in the future.”

Young people have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis and have been at the forefront of job redundancies, as many young New Zealanders tend to work in the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors which have been significantly impacted.  The number of MSD Jobseeker recipients aged 18 to 24 years has risen to 9.7 per cent for June 2020, compared to only 5.8 per cent during June the previous year.

“We still have a way to go in advocating to central government around the need for all youth unemployment and NEET statistics to be broken down to TA level, instead of regional” says Baxter.