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Employment briefing paper highlights growing econ.

11 September 2002 Media Statement

Challenges of growing economy highlighted in employment briefing paper

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey says that the Department of Labour’s Employment Policy Briefing highlights some of the challenges of economic and social development in the context of the Government’s growth and innovation strategy.

The Briefing identifies a number of challenges for the incoming government, and suggests that achieving economic and social objectives will require a range of initiatives to improve labour force participation, reduce unemployment, create inclusive communities, and sustain the employment of parents.

Steve Maharey said the Briefing notes that unemployment is now at rates not seen for 14 years.

“However, it also notes that some groups, and in particular Maori and Pacific, and young people, face relatively higher rates of unemployment, and that reducing unemployment for disadvantaged groups has both social and economic benefits.

“As the Briefing notes, initiatives could include:
- flexible employment assistance, promotion of equal employment opportunities, community capacity building and coordinated regional planning to reduce unemployment and improve labour market participation;
- building better bridges between education and work to improve young people’s transitions into the workforce; and
- a package of policies aimed at helping parents obtain and sustain work (for example, a combination of paid parental leave, access to and quality of childcare, and family tax credits).

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“The contents of this Briefing provide further support and impetus for our income support reforms and the development of an Education and Training Leaving Age. The Department of Labour will play a key policy role in the development in these initiatives and in the other areas within the social services and employment, and tertiary education portfolios”, said Steve Maharey

The Department of Labour’s Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Social Services and Employment has been posted to Steve Maharey’s website at:


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