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Brash dismisses creative industry

Brash dismisses creative industry

Don Brash's announcement that he would scrap the PACE programme shows total disregard for New Zealand's thriving arts industry, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey and Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard said today.

The PACE programme allows work and income clients meeting specific criteria to register as job-seekers looking for work in the arts and culture sector. While it allows them to seek arts related jobs, it does not allow clients to turn down other suitable employment offers.

"PACE has been enormously successful – since it was introduced it has helped nearly 3,000 New Zealanders find work," Steve Maharey said. "By promising to scrap PACE, Don Brash has shown once again that he doesn't understand how welfare policy works.

"He's effectively saying that an entire sector, including the film, music and television industries, is off-limits to job seekers. New Zealand has a world-leading arts and culture industry, providing 50,000 jobs and representing 2.8 per cent of our GDP – yet it's an industry that Don Brash is writing off."

Judith Tizard said that Brash's attack on PACE showed that the National Party still fails to understand the place of the creative industries in New Zealand's society.

"Arts and culture are booming industries and are helping to define 21st century New Zealand," Judith Tizard said. "Don Brash has said that the belief that people could find jobs in the arts was 'fantasy' - that's an attack on the 50,000 New Zealanders who rely on work in the creative sector to support themselves and their families.

"Don Brash clearly doesn't want the votes of New Zealand's arts industry. The government realises that finding work in the arts is a reality and we'll continue to help New Zealanders find jobs in every industry where workers are needed."

Attached: Background information on PACE programme.

PACE Background

Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) is a Work and Income initiative developed in co-operation the arts and cultural sector. Its aim is to assist job seekers willing and able to pursue a career in the arts and creative industries to move towards sustainable employment and self-sufficiency.

To be involved in PACE a person must be eligible to receive an unemployment benefit and want to work in the arts and cultural industry.

Job seekers involved in the PACE programme have the same obligations as all people on the unemployment benefit and are required to accept suitable job offers outside of the arts industry.

The job seeker should be able to demonstrate their commitment to pursuing a career in the arts by:

• being able to articulate a clear vision of their work and their creative future,
• actively seeking employment opportunities related to their creative skills,
• considering and pursuing job referrals appropriate to their chosen job choice,
• actively seeking opportunities to present the results of their work for external and
• public display, and
• actively seeking and undertaking training to advance their personal and professional development.

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