National plan to return youth rates by stealth, Green Party youth affairs spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.
National's just released policy on the youth minimum wage will double the time workers can be on the current training wage to six months. The rate would apply to 18 and 19 year olds entering the workforce after being on a designated benefit.
"National have extended the definition of a youth to 18 or 19 year olds," said Mr Hughes.
"This part of the policy will have a massive effect on 18 or 19 year old students who receive the odd week or so of a benefit and then get work over the holidays.
"This is not only an attack on young workers but also on students who rely on income from holiday jobs to assist them in their studies.
"In the past, all 18 year olds received an adult wage," said Mr Hughes.
"Under National those a few weeks shy of their 20th birthday could be receiving youth rates.
"National's employment policy is not going to increase youth employment - what it is going to do is take money out of young workers pockets.
"National is wrong on youth rates as a solution to the youth unemployment crisis," said Mr Hughes
"The answer is creating jobs and investing in training and education opportunities."