90 Day Trial Periods in New Zealand - The Impact on Young Unskilled Workers
This thesis examines the early work experiences of low skilled youth against the background of the recently introduced 90 day trial periods legislation. A mixed method research approach was employed to survey young people’s experiences of their early work careers, along with interviews with key stakeholders in the field of youth employment. From a sample of 100 self administered surveys from young people, the research finds that 90 day trial periods are not widely used for 15 to 19 year olds. Low incidence of use can be explained by majority of respondents being in part time or casual work. Where respondents were in full time employment trial periods are widely used, and they are more likely to be applied in a formal and long term manner by employers within the construction industry. The research concludes that while 90 day trial periods are one mechanism for increasing youth employment, they may not be the most effective as youth unemployment is a complex issue with systemic causes. The factors that contribute to youth unemployment are widespread and could be addressed by increased career advice in schools, a more comprehensive youth transition between school and employment and addressing the skills mismatch with employers needs in the workplace. Addressing these issues may have greater impact on youth unemployment than 90 day trial periods.