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Schools join employment programme for disabled

Schools join employment programme for disabled

State Services and Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced that schools are to join a public service employment programme designed to help people with disabilities into long-term jobs.

Trevor Mallard made the announcement at Upper Hutt College where he met the first person in the country to be employed by a school under the Mainstream Supported Employment Programme.

The mainstream programme aims to help people with significant disabilities into public sector jobs that match their skills.

“The inclusion of schools in the programme will provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to assist and mentor children with disabilities,” Trevor Mallard said.

“This is in line with the New Zealand Disability Strategy which is aimed at removing barriers that are stopping people with disabilities working and engaging in community life.

“The mainstream programme’s goal is to help people with significant disabilities gain meaningful long-term work. As a Government we are also keen to increase the diversity of the public sector workforce,” Trevor Mallard said.

Negotiations are underway for several other Wellington region schools to take part in the mainstream programme which will be extended into schools outside Wellington from July 1.
”These school placements will increase the range of positions available for programme participants and will also help schools by creating additional temporary administration or support staff positions,” Trevor Mallard said.

Eds: Trevor Mallard and the candidate who has been employed by Upper Hutt College are available for photos and interviews at Upper Hutt College, Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, between 10.15am and 11am.

Questions and Answers Who manages the programme? The mainstream programme is managed by the State Services Commission in collaboration with the disability sector. What help is given to schools or departments that take part in the programme? The programme subsidises salaries (100 per cent for the first year, and 50 per cent for second year) and provides the funding to create positions. Up to $1500 is also available for training in each year of placement. Placement specialists from disability sector agencies match the right person to the job and provide follow-up support. How long are the placements for? Job placements are normally for two years and it is hoped that at the end of that time, the participant is able to compete in the open job market. In the year ended June, 45 participants gained employment on merit with the same organisation at the end of their placement (out of 50 who were in the programme for the two years). In this year to date, 47 have gained ongoing employment.

Which government agencies can take part in the programme?

All government departments and selected crown entities with a staff of 30 or more can take part.

Where can I go for more information? The State Services Commission website www.ssc.govt.nz/mainstream

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