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Jobs Jolt working

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister for Social Development and Employment

10 August 2005 Media Statement

Jobs Jolt working

A new report shows the government's Jobs Jolt package is delivering on its goal of accelerating people into jobs, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The latest quarterly report shows that the package is achieving its forecasts for participation and job outcomes, with almost two-thirds of participants having moved off a benefit since the programme began. The report also shows an increase in part-time earnings for those still on a benefit.

Introduced in 2003, Jobs Jolt includes 9 programmes to help people get off benefits and into employment, as well as changes to the benefit system to ensure beneficiaries capable of work are actively seeking jobs.

"The results show this government's approach of actively supporting people into jobs is making a substantial difference," Steve Maharey said.

"Last month the OECD confirmed that active policies like Jobs Jolt, not just a strong economy, have led to New Zealand having the second lowest unemployment rate in the world. This report is a further endorsement of these policies."

Highlights from report, include:

Job partnerships with industry

- 13 job partnerships have been established with a diverse range of industries including hospitality, plumbing, roading and meat industries
- 827 participants have moved off benefits as of 31 March 2005
- A 65 percent success rate compared with a forecast of 60 percent

Mobile Employment Services

- Provides case management in rural areas that have previously had a very limited Work and Income presence
- 890 participants have moved off benefits as of 31 March 2005
- A 49 percent success rate compared with a forecast of 43 percent

Partnership with Mayors Task Force for Jobs

- A central and local government partnership aimed at ensuring all young people are in education, training or employment
- 10 projects underway nationwide
- 161 participants moved off benefits as of 31 March 2005
- A 62 percent success rate compared with a forecast of 56 percent

Activating Very long-term unemployed

- In-depth assessments for people who have been on the unemployment benefit for 8 years or longer (now expanded to include 5 years or longer)
- 399 participants off benefits as of 31 March 2005
- A 23 percent success rate compared with a forecast of 10 percent

Steve Maharey says the report has helped identify areas where the package can be refocused or expanded to respond to changes in the labour market.

For example the Jobs Partnership with Industry will be expanded to respond to high demand from industries facing skill shortages. Savings will be made in other areas such as a programme to support sole parents into work which cost less per participant than forecast.

The report can be viewed on the Ministry of Social Development's website www.msd.govt.nz

ENDS

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