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Bennett - Regional Benefit Number Announcements

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing

8 February 2013 Media Statement

Fewer on benefits in lower North Island

More than 4800 people went off welfare to take up jobs in Work and Income’s Central region over the last year.

The Central Region covers Kapiti, Horowhenua, Wairarapa, Tararua and the Manawatu.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of people on Unemployment Benefits in the region dropped by 7.8 percent over the year in 2012, down to 3,765.

“The job market has been up and down in the wake of the global recession, but Work and Income staff work hard to identify jobs opportunities with local employers and connect them with people who are ready to work,” she says.

“They’re also looking further afield for job opportunities for some people.”

In August, for example, Downer New Zealand and Work and Income piloted a ‘training and relocation programme’ for the Christchurch rebuild.

People who were willing and able to shift to Canterbury did a pre-employment programme in Palmerston North and were then offered jobs in Canterbury.

The number of young people getting the Unemployment Benefit also dropped, by 13.4 percent to 1,138 over the year in 2012.

Work and Income gets around 1,000 new jobs a week around the country.
In the last year 82,000 New Zealanders went off benefit into work.

Waikato benefit numbers drop

More than 6450 people went off welfare into work in Waikato last year.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of people on Unemployment Benefits in the region dropped 3.5 percent to 3699 in 2012.

“The job market has been patchy since the global recession, but Work and Income staff have worked hard to get people into jobs.”

The Future Build Programme run in partnership with Wintec, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation and local employers, helped 19 Waikato beneficiaries into jobs.

A welding and fabrication work experience-based training programme saw another 27 people employed in the industry.

“The number of sole parents on the DPB in Waikato dropped by nearly 400 in 2012, a shift we’re seeing reflected around the country,” says Mrs Bennett.

“The number of young people on the Unemployment Benefit also dropped by more than five percent which is heartening.”
Southern New Zealanders find work

More than 8150 people went off welfare into jobs in Work and Income’s Southern region over the last year.

The Southern Region includes South Canterbury, Central Otago, Otago and Southland.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of people on Unemployment Benefits in the Southern region dropped by 18 percent over 2012, down to 4,086.

“The Southern region has continued to show resilience in the face of a difficult job market nationwide,” says Mrs Bennett.

The number of young people on Unemployment Benefits fell 23 percent in the 2012.

The total number of people on benefits in the Southern region has dropped 5.7 percent to 20,639 in the same period.

“Southern job seekers are being recruited for the Christchurch rebuild which is a smart move for both employers and employees,” says Mrs Bennett.

The travelling roadshow FOR REAL bus is currently promoting rebuild employment opportunities in the Southern region.

An outbound calling programme is also underway to promote the initiative.

The FOR REAL project provides pre-employment and on-the-job training for Christchurch’s infrastructure industry.

People learn real skills, get a qualification and are fast-tracked into a career.

In the last year 82,000 New Zealanders went off benefit into work.

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