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Meat industry job partnership to boost employment

29 November 2004

Meat industry job partnership to boost employment

A new job partnership with the meat industry, which will see up to 1,500 unemployed people trained in meat processing over the next year, was launched today by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

The partnership with the meat industry is the seventh in the government’s Jobs Jolt package, joining the hospitality, retail, transport, plumbing, road and bus industries in partnering with Work and Income to provide unemployed people with entry level skills training.

The partnership will initially provide for a New Zealand Qualifications Authority training programme for 200 job seekers, who will receive eight NZQA units towards a National Certificate in Meat Processing Level 1. Sixty-five people have already completed the training and the remaining 135 will finish in the New Year.

The initial trainees are from the Waikato, Taranaki and Manawatu regions. They will have the opportunity to complete the remaining six credits towards a full New Zealand Qualification in meat processing once they are in employment.

The training will be rolled out to other parts of New Zealand next year and a further 1,300 jobseekers will complete the programme by September 2005.

Steve Maharey said the job partnership agreement demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing unemployed people with work opportunities while also addressing the need for skilled workers in key industries.

"The Meat Industry Association will identify skills and labour gaps in the regions and promote the partnership to its members. Work and Income will identify suitable job seekers to participate in the training, and the New Zealand Industry Training Organisation will be responsible for delivering a good mix of classroom based and on-the-job training.

"A lack of trades and technical skills, particularly in some rural areas, is the primary challenge facing the meat industry. A lack of managerial skills and the need for better succession planning for internal development also needs addressing. By building skills on the ground, this partnership will develop a strong base for further career development."

ENDS

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