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Maharey Announces Seasonal Work Campaign

A new campaign to encourage job seekers to take up seasonal work opportunities was announced by Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey this afternoon.

Mr Maharey was in Hawke’s Bay to launch ‘What about seasonal work?’ a guide to seasonal work for job seekers. In the past seasonal industries such as fruit growing, shearing, skiing and tourism have found it difficult to recruit sufficient staff and registered job seekers have been reluctant to take up these employment opportunities because of concerns about their income security. The campaign meshes with a new seasonal work-friendly approach on the part of DWI which will see the Department working in a much closer relationship with seasonal employers.

"Seasonal employment gives job seekers the opportunity to gain new skills, confidence and a good income. The campaign we are launching today is designed to promote seasonal employment to job seekers and to clearly tell them about the benefits of taking up the job opportunities.

“A lot of job seekers have seen seasonal work as being hard, physical work for little gain. Many have worried about coming off a benefit to take up a job that might be affected by bad weather or only last a short time, and about not being able to go back on a benefit when the work’s finished.

“The guide clearly explains why it will always pay to take the job. DWI will make sure that clients coming back on to the benefit after being in seasonal work are not disadvantaged – most will have their benefit reinstated within 24 hours of ceasing seasonal work. Similarly, if it rains and fruit cannot be picked that day DWI will pay seasonal workers the benefit they would have previously been entitled too.

"The seasonal work strategy also offers major benefits for employers. In the past some employers have felt DWI didn’t really understand their business and the kind of workers they needed. This summer DWI will work in partnership with employers in the key seasonal regions (Northland, East Coast and the Hawkes Bay, and Nelson) to actively identify work opportunities and to match job seekers to those jobs.
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"The Seasonal Work strategy is a good example of how the Government is refocussing the services of DWI. It is a regionally-based programme responding to local employment needs and delivered in partnership with local businesses," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

DWI Seasonal Work campaign information: Nikki Doulglas, Strategic Communications Advisor, Department of Work and Income, (04) 916 3496 or (029) 231 6197.

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