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How Canterbury is responding to population change

3 July 2003 Media Statement

Maharey sees how Canterbury is responding to population change

Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey is visiting Work and Income’s Christchurch Stanmore Road Service Centre this afternoon to see first hand how the service is responding to population change.

The visit comes on the same day that Steve Maharey launches the government’s Population and Sustainable Development 2003 report which at how population changes will affect New Zealand’s future economic, social and environmental development. It discusses the impact of the likely future size of our population on issues such as the changing nature of work and the workforce and the changing age and ethnic mix of New Zealanders.

Steve Maharey said Work and Income in Canterbury has developed a regional strategy to assist mature workers into the workforce.

“As the Population and Sustainable Development 2003 report released today points out, the nature of New Zealand’s workforce and the type of jobs available is changing and will continue to do so. New Zealanders are becoming older and more ethnically diverse and jobs are becoming more technically complex.

“As the economy and the potential workforce changes, so too must government services so that we can continue to effectively assist people off welfare and in to jobs in the new economy. This is exactly what Canterbury Work and Income have done, working in partnership with the Canterbury Third Age Movement.”

While at the Stanmore Road Service Centre Steve Maharey met Work and Income client Emad Al-Jabori who has been employed by Armourguard as a Security Officer at the centre. Mr Al-Jabori was assisted by Work and Income to gain the position through a training programme it runs in conjunction with the firm. He has just been presented with a International Gold award from Armourguard for outstanding service and has also been praised by local businesses in Stanmore as the crime rate has reduced since his appointment to the Service Centre.

Steve Maharey said the training programme and partnership with Armourgard is a good example of how Work and Income is working with indidvidual employers to promote the benefits of migrant and mature workers.

ENDS

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