House Concurrent Resolution 58 asks the state to review the current youth work permit system.
Child labor laws in the state are being reviewed by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations this legislative session in an effort to determine if Hawaii has the right mix of opportunities for kids as well as sufficient legal protections for them.
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Work-based learning opportunities, like those being discussed in House Concurrent Resolution 58, can help students gain valuable career knowledge and experience.
Those in favor of work-based learning, such as the Hawaii Work-Based Learning Policy Hui and Hawaii Kids Can, argue that students gain early hands-on experience in the career field of their choosing, which may better prepare them for the day they join the workforce.
David Sun-Miyashiro supports HCR 58 as the founding executive director of Hawaii Kids Can and a former public school teacher. Sun-Miyashiro said the reason he believes in work-based learning is that there are societal issues, including cost of living, that make it difficult for people to live in the state.
“The reason we really believe that students really need those experiences and support is because it’s kind of a matter of survival,” Sun-Miyashiro said. “If we want students to be able to thrive here for their foreseeable future, they are really going to need to be equipped with the skills and connections to stay.”
The words child labor often conjure up images of children working in factories and mines, he said, but with modern advances in technology, a multitude of career options are available for students.
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