Simon Collins

Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Council goes solo to help young jobless

The new Youth Connections Across Auckland scheme aims to contact all 10,000 young people who leave school each year. Photo / Thinkstock
The new Youth Connections Across Auckland scheme aims to contact all 10,000 young people who leave school each year. Photo / Thinkstock

Auckland Council has decided to go it alone with a scheme to help unemployed young people into jobs, saying a Government programme will not reach all school-leavers who need it.

The new Youth Connections Across Auckland scheme, launched last night, aims to contact all 10,000 young people who leave school each year in six local board areas.

It comes as the Social Development Ministry evaluates more than 150 bids to help 14,000 youngsters nationally, including 2000 in Auckland, who leave school each year aged 16 or 17 without definite plans for training or jobs.

Both schemes will rely on schools providing contact details for school-leavers.

Under the government scheme, the ministry will refer those aged 16 and 17 without definite plans to locally-contracted agencies for follow-up.

Under the council scheme, the local boards will aim to contact all school-leavers, of any age, to check whether they are actually in jobs or training, and will also follow up with those who are not.

The $675,000 annual budget for the council scheme will come mainly from charities for the first two years.

The Tindall Foundation is paying $335,000 a year, Auckland Airport Community Trust $115,000, and the council $225,000, mainly from funds from the region's eight former councils.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said the scheme would not duplicate the ministry's programme.

- NZ Herald

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