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Wage subsidies supporting more into work

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing

28 August 2013 Media Statement

Wage subsidies supporting more into work

Thousands of New Zealanders have come off welfare and into work thanks to the Government’s Job Streams wage subsidy employment package.

“Introduced a year ago, Job Streams offers beneficiaries a flexible pathway into work through two distinct initiatives - Flexi-Wage subsidies and Skills for Industry training programmes,” Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said.

“The simple, work-targeted focus is making a real difference for Jobseekers.”

Flexi-Wage involves wage subsidies for employers to encourage them to hire and train up beneficiaries, with construction, retail and manufacturing the top three industries for referral.

Since July last year almost 7,000 Work and Income clients have begun a Flexi-Wage contract, and 70 per cent of those whose contract ended before June this year remained in employment eight weeks after the contract ended.

“Of that 7,000, 38 per cent were aged under 25 years old, and many at high risk of long-term benefit dependence.”

Skills for Industry programmes are short and job-focused, and address skill and labour shortages faced by industries.

Close to 12,000 Work and Income clients have been successfully placed in a Skills for Industry Training Programme,

“The Government has committed $62 million to Job Streams so far, which is creating thousands of job opportunities, as well as providing Job Seekers with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce,” Mrs Bennett said.

“We are committed to providing people with the right support and encouragement to get off welfare and into work, and our investment in Job Streams is achieving results.”

ENDS

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