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Plans for Community Employment Organisations

20 June 2000 Media Statement

Maharey announces plans for Community Employment Organisations

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey has released details of
Government plans to establish a network of Community Employment Organisations (CEOs).

Delivering the sixth Annual Patrick Macaskill Lecture to the Wellington Workers' Education Association, Steve Maharey said that $8.5 million of reprioritised expenditure will be directed to creating additional employment opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers in community enterprises.

"These are enterprises that provide services of benefit to the economy or the environment, but which will not be in direct competition with the private sector. Examples might include foreshore beautification programmes and the provision of clerical and financial services to community organisations.

"Subsidised employment with a CEO is a stepping stone to employment in the wider economy. Those placed will gain valuable employment experience. CEOs will assist in overcoming barriers to employment, including personal barriers and disadvantages associated with location.

"CEOs will be able to provide services that the private sector alone would not by stitching together multiple funding sources, from central and local government, the private sector, and the community and voluntary sector.

"While CEOs will be eligible for partial wage subsidies to employ disadvantaged job seekers, with the CEO topping the subsidy up to at least the minimum wage, there will be an expectation that CEOs should be trying to become independent of the wage subsidy over time – that is, they should be looking to take on some of their subsidised workers on an unsubsidised basis once the subsidy ceases.
"CEOs will have ongoing relationships with both the Department of Work & Income, and the Community Employment Group of the Department of Labour. Final policy work for CEOs is being completed at present. I expect that Work and Income will start referring job seekers to CEOs later this year," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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