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Support For Manukau School-To-Work Programme

Government Announces Support For Manukau School-To-Work Programme

The Government is to provide a start-up funding for a new school-to-work programme to be run by the City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET), Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Mr Maharey is in the city today meeting with employers, local government and community representatives to review the progress of the Department of Work and Income's (DWI) regional jobs plan for Auckland South which was launched last December. COMET's Te Whero programme is linked to other regional employment and economic development strategies which together provide an excellent example of regional development in action.

Mr Maharey said the Te Whero programme aims to boost the skills of senior Maori and Pacific school students living in Manukau, providing them with a sufficient qualifications to enrol in tertiary study, or with a training pathway in the workforce.

"The new Government's approach to welfare refocusses DWI on assisting beneficiaries to move off welfare and into real paying jobs and away from the make-work schemes of the past. We also want to focus on ensuring young people make a successful transition from school into the workforce.

"The Te Whero programme is to receive $100,000 in seed funding to enable COMET to develop the mentoring resources which support the programme. The Government has also indicated that, following an evaluation of the programme, we would like to talk further with COMET about becoming long-term partners.

"I have asked two government agencies – Skill New Zealand and the Community Employment Group – to work with COMET on the development of Te Whero. As a Government we are very keen to get a whole-of-government approach to issues to ensure we use resources effectively and we harness all the available expertise.

"DWI has also been adopting the same approach across it’s Auckland South region. We have empowered the Regional Commissioner, Denise Fink, to develop programmes which meet the needs of the local labour market and which prepare beneficiaries to re-enter the workforce.

"Initiatives underway locally show the value of adopting a partnership-based approach to employment development with local communities. DWI has been able to siginificantly boost its performance with the active support of its immediate community," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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