January 26, 2018
Union supports new rangatahi employment initiative
FIRST Union supports the new rangatahi employment initiative announced by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson earlier today.
“For too long our rangatahi in the regions have been neglected,” said FIRST Union kaumatua, Syd Keepa.
“Contrary to the views of some, our rangatahi are not lazy, they want to work but many of them and their whanau have been locked out of employment for two or even three generations,” Syd Keepa said.
“I understand that this programme builds on the He Poutama Rangatahi initiative that was announced by the previous government last year but we have seen little evidence of it since then. It is good that we have a new Government and a new Minister that will develop this programme further and put in the energy to making it a success.”
“For such a programme to work it will need to see government, iwi, employers, unions and the community working together. Our union commits to play our role in the programme.”
“FIRST Union represents workers in forestry, horticulture and many other industries. We have a strong presence in the regions of Te Taitokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay where the initial programme will be based.”
“Earlier this week we were confronted with the announcement of JNL that it is proposing to axe 100 jobs in Tairāwhiti. Regions such as Tairāwhiti need programmes like this and also an active labour market response from the government that will provide a Just Transition for redundant workers into new productive employment.”
“FIRST Union also hopes that this programme can be extended to unemployed Pacific youth especially in South Auckland,” Syd Keepa said.
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