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Govt Launches New 'Social Enterprises' Initiative

Government Launches New 'Social Enterprises' Initiative

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today announced details of the first group of social enterprises to be funded under the Community Employment Organisations (CEOs) programme.

The Government has allocated $8.5 million over three years to pilot the CEOs programme. CEOs are social enterprises in the community and voluntary sector undertaking commercial activity not in competition with the private sector to meets community needs and to create employment. A mix of advisory support and financial assistance from the Community Employment Group and wage subsidies from DWI are provided to assist CEOs.

Mr Maharey said that subsidised employment with a CEO provides a stepping stone to employment in the wider economy.

"CEOs give unemployed New Zealanders valuable employment experience and assists in overcoming barriers to employment.

"The programme sees job-seekers making the move into real jobs, earning real wages, and generating real self-belief and a sense of self-worth.

"The contrast with the previous National Government's and the ACT Party's preference for Community Work could not be clearer. That scheme created make-work jobs, encouraged dependency, and robbed individuals of any sense of self-worth.

"Six CEOs are currently in place with a further 6 proposals being assessed. A further 35 proposals are currently being developed with CEG field advisers.

"From energy efficiency measures designed to assist low income households to an initiative which provides low cost school lunches to children in low decile schools, CEOs demonstrate that it is possible to grow jobs, grow community capacity, and address fundamental community needs," Steve Maharey said.

Fact sheet: Community Employment Organisations (CEOs)

What are Community Employment Organisations (CEOs)?

Community Employment Organisations (CEOs) provide assistance to community groups to allow them to develop enterprises and employ unemployed people within their communities.

The Government provides a mix of advisory support and financial assistance from the Community Employment Group (CEG) and wage subsidies from DWI to support CEOs.

The development of CEOs was a campaign commitment in Labour's election manifesto, Opportunity – A Nation At Work.

What support is the Government providing to establish CEOs and how many have been established to date?

The Government has allocated $8.5 million over three years in its first Budget to pilot the Community Employment Organisations (CEOs) programme. Six CEOs are currently in place providing 64 positions, with a further six proposals being assessed. A further 35 proposals are currently being developed with CEG field advisers. CEG hopes to approve 30 CEOs by June 2001.

What types of work are CEOs providing?

The key objective of CEOs is to encourage unemployed people and communities into creating their own small business operations which provide valuable services to their community. The CEO programme will not support organisations that are in direct competition with the private sector. CEOs support the provision of services that would not otherwise be able to be purchased if they were not subsidised.

Details of the CEOs approved to date are as follows:

Location: Community Employment Organisation (CEO):
Moerewa He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust.
The Trust currently provides 8 positions and is working on three projects: installing energy efficient and moisture prevention measures in 200 low-income households, investigating opportunities in web design to bring the community on-line to provide marketing opportunities, and operating a community-run enterprise recovering recyclable materials from the waste stream.

Contact: Debbie Davis, (09) 404 1299 or Amokura Panoho, CEG Field Worker, (025) 449 065.

Thames Thames Energy Futures Trust.
The Trust is currently providing 4 positions working on energy efficiency and resource conservation work.

Contact: Monique Swaan, (07) 868 8345 or Yvonne Carter, CEG Field Worker, (025) 220 5036.
Tauranga Compass Community Trust.
The Trust is currently providing 5 positions to refurbish and develop the Compass Community Village and its facilities for use by community groups.

Contact: Leanne MacDonald, (07) 571 3700 or Sheree Long, CEG Field Worker, (025) 898 266.
Palmerston North Genesis Trust.
The Trust works with the long term unemployed and criminal offenders and is currently providing 20 positions working on a forestry project.

Contact: Glen Haddon, (06) 354 6520 or Tracy Walding, CEG Field Worker, (025) 415 851.
Dunedin Approach Employment and Training Programme.
The programme is currently providing 2 positions providing school lunches to low decile primary schools and in niche catering and café services.

Contact: Nicholas Orbell, (03) 487 7959 or Julie Pearse, CEG Field Worker, (025) 415 851.
Invercargill Southland Mature Employment Charitable Trust.
The Trust is currently providing 7 positions in a range of community projects, including recycling, rubbish and graffiti removal, and caring and support work.

Contact: Colin Schaab, (03) 217 3350 or Linette Sinclair, CEG Field Worker, (025) 503 437

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