Our Government believes that everyone should have the chance to succeed – including young people who need a little bit of extra support to get back on the right track. That’s why we’re stepping up pathways to better opportunities, by supporting more young people into jobs and training to prevent them getting involved in crime.
We recently released our Better Pathways package, which extends programmes that have a record of success in helping young New Zealanders into better futures, and driving down youth crime.
All of the programmes we’re scaling up, including He Poutama Rangatahi and the Ākonga Fund, play slightly different roles – ranging from helping people into education, training and employment, to more general wrap-around support. But they are all working successfully to help at-risk young people turn their lives around.
Right now, youth offending is down on where it was a decade ago but we know there’s still work to do. By investing in pathways to better opportunities for more young New Zealanders, we’re helping to break the cycle of crime and gang activity.
At the same time, we’re increasing the consequences for individuals who cause harm in our communities. We’ve already delivered New Zealand’s largest ever Police service, and now we’re changing the law to give them greater powers to seize gang assets, to ensure crime does not pay.
Our focus on providing pathways to better opportunities isn’t limited to at-risk young people. Right across the country, we’re creating jobs, helping people into work and supporting more New Zealanders to upskill.
More than 200,000 people have now benefitted from our free apprenticeships and trades training programmes. We also recently reached the milestone of helping 50,000 New Zealanders through Apprenticeship Boost, which supports employers keep and take on new apprentices.
I’m really proud of these programmes. Not only are they giving more people the chance to upskill, they’re also helping families get ahead, businesses grow, and ultimately, they contribute to success.
Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn