Labour's jobs and skills policy showed a thoughtful
approach to the economy's skill needs, BusinessNZ chief
executive Phil O'Reilly said yesterday.
However, his praise came with some criticism.
''While the jobs part of the policy would be unlikely to grow
more jobs - with difficulties including more taxes,
interventions in monetary policy and more rigid employment
laws - the skills part is more promising,'' he said.
Labour leader David Cunliffe announced the policy in
Christchurch, saying Labour would create an employment and
skills strategy in consultation with employer groups and
Labour would continue the New Zealand Apprenticeship Scheme
which began last year and create new apprenticeships in the
creative, ICT and conservation sectors.
The already announced $183 million youth employment package
would make sure 24,000 young Kiwis under the age of 20 were
in work, education or training.
It included the Kick Start Apprentices which would pay a
$9100 subsidy, the equivalent of the dole, to employers
willing to offer young unemployed people a permanent job.
The $200 million regional development fund would partner
government with communities in projects to boost jobs and
create an economic change in their areas, Mr Cunliffe said.
Mr O'Reilly said Labour's skills policy included some overly
restrictive and unnecessary elements but it did focus on some
key areas for New Zealand's skill needs.
The proposal for intensive support for young people who had
been out of work or training for six months after leaving
school would help address the key problem of numbers of young
people not in employment, education or training, he said.