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Key announces $20M for apprentices, $3k jobless grant

Key announces $20 million more in apprentice subsidy, $3k grant to lure jobless to Canterbury

May 6 (BusinessDesk) – Prime Minister John Key says an extra $20 million will be provided in this year’s budget to expand the government’s apprentice subsidy scheme and $3.5 million for grants to lure unemployed people to jobs in Canterbury.

Key made the announcements in a pre-budget speech in Wellington in which he affirmed the government’s target of returning to surplus in the coming year.

The subsidy for apprenticeships amounts to $1,000 for eligible apprentices or trainees toward the cost of tools or off-job course costs, or $2,000 for those in priority trades. The additional spending will increase the number of places on the government’s Apprenticeship Reboot scheme, announced last year, to 20,000 from 14,000, Key said.

The grants for beneficiaries to take a job in Canterbury will be a lump-sum of $3,000, tax free and not subject to any income and asset test. To be eligible, they must show proof of a confirmed job offer of at least 30 hours a week and for at least 91 days.

The $3.5 million initiative, which would run for 12 months from July 1 would be enough to fund up to 1,000 beneficiaries, Key said.

Canterbury, which has been soaking up workers to help with the rebuild after Christchurch was devastated by earthquakes, has an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, the lowest in the country, Key said.

The budget is announced on May 15.

(BusinessDesk)

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