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New approach helping beneficiaries into work

Hon Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Development

6 November 2013 Media Statement        

New approach helping beneficiaries into work

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the new Work Focused Case Management approach is yielding real results for beneficiaries.

Intensive one-to-one support from an assigned case manager has been offered to more than 83,000 people so far.

“Since introducing this in July, 7,103 people have gone off welfare into work through this approach,” says Mrs Bennett.

In total since reforms were implemented in July, more than 13,000 sole parents and Jobseekers have gone off welfare, into work.

People selected for Work Focused Case Management are generally at risk of long-term benefit dependency and require extra support to find employment.

About half of those receiving help via this approach are jobseekers, the other half are sole parents.

A further 25,797 beneficiaries are receiving Work Search Support, a lighter touch for those easily able to manage their own work search.

More than 198,000 people are in the general case management stream; primarily for people who are soon to start work or are preparing to work, including parents with social obligations.

“Welfare Reforms introduced by the National Government have been accompanied by more than $460 million in extra funding for greater support.”

Budget 2013 included an extra 354 Work and Income staff.

“This injection of staffing resource has allowed us to ensure more proactive face to face appointments with beneficiaries,” says Mrs Bennett.

As of the September quarter, there were 304,394 people on benefits, down from 320,942 a year previous.

Eighty-seven per cent of that reduction is due to people moving out of the welfare system after being on benefit for more than 12 months.

“We have set a Better Public Services target to reduce the number of people on benefit for more than 12 months, this means doing more complex work with people who have greater challenges, but it brings the biggest gains.”

“We are helping New Zealanders move out of the welfare system, into paid work which is just the start of a much better life,” says Mrs Bennett.

There are 126,470 classed as Jobseekers, 57,865 of which are temporarily unable to work due to illness.

The number of Jobseekers dropped by more than 7,000 in the last year.

ENDS

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