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Government Launches 'Students Work' Programme

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton and Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today announced a 'Students Work' package of student summer employment and assistance initiatives.

Jim Anderton said a key part of the new 'Students Work' programme is a trial business growth and student employment project – Snap. Snap was a Government response to the difficulty many businesses have in finding affordable and capable short-term employees, and to the need students have for meaningful holiday work. The national awareness of the Snap programme is expected to encourage employers to provide skilled jobs for students across the whole country. It will locate up to 1000 new jobs by matching the employment needs of business with the qualifications of tertiary students.

“The Government has set up Snap to test ways of matching the needs of businesses with the qualifications of students and is funded through Industry New Zealand. Employers will be able to hire students with a related skill base who can quickly grasp what needs to be done and undertake work which really helps a business move ahead," said Jim Anderton.

Jim Anderton called on businesses to support the programme “Employers should think about those jobs which need doing with skilled labour and consider joining SNAP by contacting Student Job Search."

Steve Maharey said the other key part of the Students Work programme is changes to student assistance designed to help students get into meaningful summer employment.

A new Student Work Start Grant programme has been developed which can help with essential costs faced by students starting work over the summer which they cannot afford to pay themselves. An Unemployment Benefit (Student Hardship) may also be available to provide short term financial support to help meet living costs while the students look for holiday work.

"We want to make it easier for students to get into quality summer jobs. Students can benefit considerably from taking a summer job related to their field of study. It gives them an introduction to workplace skills and disciplines and a chance to apply practically what they have learned during the year.

"We are also pleased to be developing the project in partnership with Student Job Search because it builds on its long-term track record helping students to find work," he said.

The bulk of the project consists of nine pilot programmes that will help businesses establish their needs, and to find the right student to fill those needs.

The Snap project will be piloted in five regions, including a pilot specifically aimed at Maori students. In addition there will be two industry-specific projects and two more specialised pilot projects.

Student Job Search will deliver four of the pilots in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Work and Income, Industry New Zealand and business networks.

Details on the regions involved and the industry and specialist projects will be released in the next few days.


As part of the launch of the new SNAP programme Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton and Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today visited MSO Design in Wellington.

Founded in 1977 - MSO Design offers full creative and production abilities for print, advertising and new media projects. Partners Mark Whitecliffe and Jamie Macleod recognise the importance to graduates of getting that vital ‘first break’ and have taken a pro-active approach towards hiring graduates. Within a team of 12 - MSO currently employs four Design graduates.

“We were approached by Karen Larsen midway through 2000 as she was in her second-to-last year of a four year Bachelor of Graphic Design course at Massey. To help her gain valuable work experience, Karen offered to work free at MSO during her holiday break, however, once we viewed her portfolio and gauged her enthusiasm we were pleased to employ Karen on a flexible part-time basis. We have a policy of not using free labour,” Mark Whitecliffe said.

“Now in her final year of studies, Karen has proved to be an invaluable member of our design team. Averaging 15hrs a week, she has gained a great deal of ‘hands on’ production experience essential for her future career. She has also contributed up-to-the-minute design ideas to the knowledge pool within the studio. Thanks to Karen’s dedicated and professional approach to the role we have offered her a fulltime design position within MSO and we look forward to working with her in 2002,” said Mark.


Ends

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