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Work & Income Signs Partnership With Retailers

Rick Barker: Work and Income signs Jobs Partnership with New Zealand Retailers Association

Work and Income signs Jobs Partnership with New Zealand Retailers Association

Work and Income's third Jobs Jolt employment programme with industry has been launched

Associate Social Development and Employment Minister Rick Barker has launched a new Job Partnership programme between Work and Income and the New Zealand Retailers Association.

"The new partnership with retailers is called 'Straight 2 Work' and is the third formal agreement between Work and Income and industry under the Government's Job Jolts employment programme.

"Straight 2 Work will see a pilot training programme for jobseekers established in Christchurch, Manawatu and Bay of Plenty. This builds on the success of a retail programme that has operated in Wellington and Auckland for the past two years. The goal is to place 160 jobseekers across the five regions in the next three years."

Work and Income will contract for training courses of up to 10 weeks that will provide jobseekers with an assessment, generic skills, and work experience. Graduates will then be placed into fulltime paid employment and develop a career plan.

"This plan can link into three areas, in-house training agreement, modern apprenticeship or career advancement.

"The training has been designed by the Retailers Industry Training Organisation and will give jobseekers wanting to work in retail a direct training route into a retail career," Mr Barker said.

The Retailers Association membership includes 135 chain stores and 4,500 independent shop owners employing more than 200,000 full time employees. New Zealand's retail sector is growing by 5 percent each year.

"This government is committed to working with employers and industry in addressing labour and skill shortages. This latest partnership will go some way to meeting the demand for professional retail staff," Mr Barker said.

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