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Govt fast-tracking people into jobs through WRK4U

Government fast-tracking people into jobs through WRK4U

A daily Work and Income seminar now operating throughout the country is helping reduce unemployment benefit dependancy, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Rick Barker said today.

“Work-for-You (WRK4U) is a new, voluntary client service which involves daily seminars from Work and Income offices for anyone applying for an unemployment benefit.

“When enquiring about the unemployment benefit, clients are asked to attend a WRK4U seminar where they are provided with information about their full and correct entitlements and about their obligations while in receipt of a benefit.

“The seminar then focuses on what steps clients will take in order to find work. Clients are also asked about their skills and previous job history. This allows staff to match them with available jobs at the earliest possible time.”

WRK4U was piloted in March this year at three Auckland Work and Income Service Centres (Avondale, Onehunga and Manukau) before its introduction to the department’s 11 regions last month.

“Interim results of the Auckland pilot suggest that the number of people requiring the unemployment benefit from the three sample communities dropped 19 percent below what was predicted,” Mr Barker said.

Since August, nationwide tracking of the seminar’s results also suggested that WRK4U was helping lower the duration of those receiving the unemployment benefit.

“Early indications suggest that WRK4U is helping clients take on jobs sooner, but it will be some weeks yet before we can ratify that. This is an extremely promising trend and one which I’m sure will yield some excellent results.

“With unemployment now at a 16-year low and 148,000 more New Zealanders in work since the Labour-led government took office, programmes like WRK4U further demonstrate our commitment to reduce benefit dependancy and get even more people into work,” Mr Barker said.

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