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NZs Employment Opportunities Continue to Grow

3 March 2004
Media Release
For Immediate Release

New Zealand’s Employment Opportunities Continue to Grow

A strong economy, a buoyant labour market and innovative employment programmes are providing New Zealanders with more employment opportunities in 2004 than seen for many years.

With unemployment at its lowest level in 16 years, Work and Income National Commissioner Ray Smith confirmed that latest figures show the lowest recorded increase in people applying for unemployment benefits in the traditionally seasonal down period of December, since 1996.

Unemployment Benefit numbers increased by 6,907 in December 2003 on the previous month to a total of 94,348. This compares to an average increase of 12,250 between November and December in the previous seven years.

As of 29 February 2004 there were 84,426 people receiving Unemployment Benefit.

“Work and Income strategies are also playing a major role in getting more New Zealanders into jobs by focusing first and foremost on the employment opportunities available to clients. In the past year Work and Income has changed the way it helps clients,” said Ray Smith.

One such change is the WRK4U seminars which are achieving particular success by reinforcing the message that work is available and should be considered ahead of benefit payments. The WRK4U seminars provide those people seeking an unemployment benefit with information on local labour market opportunities and with practical help to get work.

Since WRK4U was introduced, of the 23,505 who attended the seminar more than half decided they didn’t require an Unemployment Benefit. The vast majority have gone into work.

WRK4U is supported by a range of other work services programmes including:
- JOBZ4U, a new job matching and client skill assessment tool to be introduced in July that will improve the ability of Work brokers to match clients with employment opportunities.
- The aligning of clients skills development with the demands of their local labour market
- Enhanced case manager support for clients who have been placed in employment.

In addition, the programmes announced in the Government’s Jobs Jolt programme last August have now been implemented.

“Jobs Jolt is a package of employment programmes designed to get as many people as possible into work by communicating better with jobseekers, investing in skill development and partnering with employers.

“With unemployment reducing, and skill shortages emerging in specific industries, Jobs Jolt is helping Work and Income to focus its work services to ensure that jobseekers have the right skills and are in the right place to take advantage of employment opportunities.

“The release today of an alert sheet for Work and Income case managers of Limited Employment Locations will help jobseekers with better information on areas where the best work opportunities exist.

“Jobseekers moving to very small isolated communities face increased challenges finding work in such places.

“The Limited Employment Locations alert sheet will ensure case managers discuss such issues with these jobseekers, including whether it is practical to commute to nearby areas with job opportunities. Clients need to be able to meet their obligations, to be actively looking and available for work, to receive the unemployment benefit.

“Work and Income is also improving its employment services in rural communities. So far 7 regions have established Mobile Employment Services to work with local employers and businesses to identify greater employment opportunities for jobseekers in these small communities,” said Ray Smith.

Another Jobs Jolt programme, Job Partnerships with Industry is already achieving success. Work and Income has so far signed partnership agreements to develop training and career routes for jobseekers with the Hospitality and Trucking sectors. Further partnership agreements with trades industries are imminent.

A number of initiatives to address youth unemployment are being offered through “The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs”. Jobs Jolt provides additional investment to allow exciting youth initiatives to be developed to help young people into employment, training or education.

Improved services for Work and Income clients who have faced the greater employment challenges have been introduced.

Mature clients who are 55 years or older on unemployment benefits who are able to work are now beginning to receive specialised case management and programmes to help them meet new work test obligations and regain their footing in the workforce. So far 97 mature workers have gained employment since early December 2003.

People on Sickness or Invalids Benefits are also beginning to receive enhanced case management and those who want to work, special programmes, so they can remain connected to the labour market and their communities.

A similar approach has been developed under Jobs Jolt for those clients who have been on unemployment benefit for longer than eight years. Enhanced case management for these clients focuses on the development of a support strategy for clients to address the barriers they face in getting work.

“The employment scene in New Zealand is looking more positive than ever before. Work and Income is committed to working with jobseekers to ensure they are able to make the most of the opportunities available to them,” concluded Ray Smith.

ENDS

LIST OF LIMITED EMPLOYMENT LOCATIONS
Location - Territorial Local Authority

Great Barrier Island Auckland City
Okains Bay Banks Peninsula District
Little Akaloa Banks Peninsula District
LeBons Bay Banks Peninsula District
Hector Buller District
Charleston Buller District
Mokihinui Buller District
Ngakawau Buller District
Seddonville Buller District
Birchfield Buller District
Ikamatua Buller District
Inangahua Junction Buller District
Millerton Buller District
Mawheraiti Buller District
Buller Gorge Buller District
Arapito Buller District
Kongahu Buller District
Maruia Buller District
Te Kuha Buller District
Longbush Carterton District
Oturehua Central Otago District
Becks Central Otago District
Lauder Central Otago District
Patearoa Central Otago District
Waipiata Central Otago District
Chrystalls Beach Clutha District
Hinahina Clutha District
Maclennan Clutha District
Te Hapua Far North District
Tahuna Far North District
Cape Reinga Far North District
Wekaweka Far North District
Rangi Point Far North District
Mitimiti Far North District
Spirits Bay Far North District
Te Paki Far North District
Paua Far North District
Karatia Far North District
Waitiki Landing Far North District
Reef Point Far North District
Tauroa Point Far North District
Kaiaua Franklin District
Waikaretu Franklin District
Port Waikato Franklin District
Tikitiki Gisborne District
Waipiro Bay Gisborne District
Whangara Gisborne District
Te Puia Springs Gisborne District
Matawai Gisborne District
Motu Gisborne District
Blackball Grey District
Ahaura Grey District
Barrytown Grey District
Ngahere Grey District
Atarau Grey District
Totara Flat Grey District
Bell Hill Grey District
Raupo Grey District
Rotomanu Grey District
Waipuna Grey District
Moana Grey District
Waikari Hastings District
Te Haroto Hastings District
Tutira Hastings District
Te Pohue Hastings District
Putorino Hastings District
Waikoau Hastings District
Aropaonui Hastings District
Taheke Hastings District
Ocean Beach Hastings District
Patoka Hastings District
Maraetotara Hastings District
Puketitiri Hastings District
Whiritoa Hauraki District
Kekerengu Kaikoura District
Clarence Kaikoura District
Mangamaunu Kaikoura District
Oaro Kaikoura District
Pouto Kaipara District
Kellys Bay Kaipara District
Rototuna Kaipara District
Ward Marlborough District
Canvastown Marlborough District
Anakiwa Marlborough District
French Pass Marlborough District
Kenepuru Sound Marlborough District
Lochmara Bay Marlborough District
East Bay Marlborough District
Nydia Bay Marlborough District
Queen Charlotte Sound Marlborough District
Waikaraka Masterton District
Castlepoint Masterton District
Mauriceville Masterton District
Riversdale Beach Masterton District
Bideford Masterton District
Blairlogie Masterton District
Matahiwi Masterton District
Tinui Masterton District
Uruti New Plymouth District
Motiti Island no TLA
Paparoa Opotiki District
Kutarere Opotiki District
Omaio Opotiki District
Waihau Bay Opotiki District
Opape Opotiki District
Omarumutu Opotiki District
Kawhia Otorohanga District
Oparau Otorohanga District
Pureora Forest Otorohanga District
Rewarewa Otorohanga District
Reporoa Rotorua District
Mamaku Rotorua District
Kaingaroa Forest Rotorua District
Okere Falls Rotorua District
Rotoiti Rotorua District
Rerewhakaaitu Rotorua District
Mourea Rotorua District
Horohoro Rotorua District
Tikitere Rotorua District
Kaharoa Rotorua District
Ngakuru Rotorua District
Rotoehu Rotorua District
Broadlands Rotorua District
Gisborne Point Rotorua District
Waikite Rotorua District
Waimiha Ruapehu District
Ohura Ruapehu District
Ongarue Ruapehu District
Matiere Ruapehu District
Tokirima Ruapehu District
Pipiriki Ruapehu District
Tatu Ruapehu District
Lake Coleridge Selwyn District
Whitecliffs Selwyn District
Mangamingi South Taranaki District
Waipapa South Waikato District
Waikuku South Wairarapa District
Pirinoa South Wairarapa District
Cape Palliser South Wairarapa District
Hinakura South Wairarapa District
Kahutara South Wairarapa District
Tahora South Wairarapa District
Lake Ferry/Ocean Beach South Wairarapa District
Battersea South Wairarapa District
Ohai Southland District
Nightcaps Southland District
Orepuki Southland District
Blackmount Southland District
Colac Bay Southland District
Whangamomona Stratford District
Kohuratahi Stratford District
Makahu Stratford District
Tahora Stratford District
Te Wera Stratford District
Douglas Stratford District
Tapawera Tasman District
Tadmor Tasman District
St Arnaud Tasman District
Parapara Tasman District
Puponga Tasman District
Rockville Tasman District
Upper Takaka Tasman District
Hamama Tasman District
Bainham Tasman District
Ferntown Tasman District
Kotinga Tasman District
Patons Rock Tasman District
Pigeon Valley Tasman District
Rangihaeata Tasman District
Tarakohe Tasman District
Kohatu Tasman District
Korere Tasman District
Matariki Tasman District
Motupiko Tasman District
Longford Tasman District
Owen River Tasman District
Six Mile Tasman District
Tutaki Tasman District
Maraetai Taupo District
Waitahanui Taupo District
Atiamuri Taupo District
Wairakei Taupo District
Wairakei Village Taupo District
Hatepe Taupo District
Rangitaiki Taupo District
Tihoi Taupo District
Whakamaru Taupo District
Tokaanu Taupo District
Te Rangiita Taupo District
Rotokawa Taupo District
Motuoapa Taupo District
Iwitahi Taupo District
Pukawa Taupo District
Tairua Thames-Coromandel District
Waiau Thames-Coromandel District
Colville Thames-Coromandel District
Hahei Thames-Coromandel District
Pauanui Thames-Coromandel District
Coroglen Thames-Coromandel District
Whenuakite Thames-Coromandel District
Kennedy Bay Thames-Coromandel District
Whangapoua Thames-Coromandel District
Cooks Beach Thames-Coromandel District
Koputauaki Thames-Coromandel District
Opoutere Thames-Coromandel District
Hot Water Beach Thames-Coromandel District
Onemana Thames-Coromandel District
Hikuai Thames-Coromandel District
Kuaotunu Thames-Coromandel District
Amodeo Bay Thames-Coromandel District
Mercury Bay Thames-Coromandel District
Opito Thames-Coromandel District
Papaaroha Thames-Coromandel District
Port Charles Thames-Coromandel District
Te Kouma Thames-Coromandel District
Waikawau Thames-Coromandel District
Te Akau Waikato District
Waerenga Waikato District
Waiterimu Waikato District
Pukeatua Waipa District
Morere Wairoa District
Te Reinga Wairoa District
Kihitu Pa Wairoa District
Rangiahua Wairoa District
Tuhara Wairoa District
Mokau Waitomo District
Benneydale Waitomo District
Taharoa Waitomo District
Aria Waitomo District
Awakino Waitomo District
Marokopa Waitomo District
Te Anga Waitomo District
Mahoenui Waitomo District
Waikawau Waitomo District
Puketutu Waitomo District
Te Maika Waitomo District
Jerusalem Wanganui District
Matahiwi Wanganui District
Athenree Western Bay Of Plenty District
Haast Westland District
Ross Westland District
Whataroa Westland District
Harihari Westland District
Jacksons Westland District
Bruce Bay Westland District
Pukekura Westland District
Aickens Westland District
Dillmanstown Westland District
Jackson Bay Westland District
Lake Paringa Westland District
Matata Whakatane District
Ruatoki North Whakatane District
Galatea Whakatane District
Ruatahuna Whakatane District
Tauwhare Whakatane District
Opouriao Whakatane District
Waimaria Whakatane District
Ruatoki Whakatane District
Tahora Whakatane District

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