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Employment Trend Positive For Ethnic Groups

Employment trends are proving positive for New Zealand's ethnic communities, Minister for Ethnic Affairs Hon. George Hawkins said.

"Job opportunities are expanding and ethnic communities are benefiting from this.

"The actual number of people employed affiliating to an ethnic group increased from 93,300 in March 1999 to 98,000 in March 2000.

"That's an increase of 4700 jobs for people from ethnic communities," George Hawkins said.

He said unemployment trends for ethnic people are also showing a positive trend: "The unemployment rate for ethnic people has dropped from 11.5 percent in March 1999 to 11.1 percent in March 2000.

"This Labour/Alliance Government has focussed on policies that lead to opportunity, policies designed to equip people with the means to achieve their potential," George Hawkins said.

These policies include:
 a boost to the Industry Training Fund administered by Skill New Zealand
 backing for the mayoral taskforce for employment and community development initiatives
 launch of the modern apprenticeship scheme as a key component of the Government's employment and skills strategy
 promoting public recognition and acknowledgment of vocational qualifications including those gained through on-the-job education and training.

"This is good news for ethnic New Zealanders, a group which traditionally has shown a strong and dedicated work ethic," George Hawkins said.

ENDS



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