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Strategic vision for New Zealand's labour market

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister for Social Development and Employment

25 August 2005 Media Statement

Strategic vision for New Zealand's labour market

A productive, highly skilled and well-paid workforce is the vision laid out in the government's updated employment strategy, launched today by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

Better Work, Working Better has evolved out of the government's 2000 Employment Strategy. It has been developed in consultation with Business New Zealand, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

"The Employment Strategy has been a huge success," Steve Maharey said. "Since it was introduced, we have achieved the lowest unemployment rate in the western world and seen 1000 more people in jobs every week.

"To address skill shortages we have rolled out an extensive programme of work, including new modern apprenticeships, job partnerships with industries and record investments in industry training.

"To ensure we keep the economy growing at the rate we've become used to, we are now shifting the balance from growth based on working more to growth based on working better."

Better Work, Working Better identifies the steps that New Zealand needs to take at a government, business and community level to achieve high quality employment and drive sustainable economic growth. It establishes four major goals and sets out measures of achievement. The goals are:

- High levels of participation in high-quality, well-paid and diversified employment

- A diverse, adaptable and highly-skilled workforce

- High-quality and productive workplaces, within an effective regulatory environment

- High-performing sector and regional labour markets

"The government's role is to provide the right environment, but it is up to employers, employees, unions, the business community and training providers to make the necessary changes."

Better Work, Working Better is available at


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