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Govt’s Economic Recovery Continues With 20,000 Flexi-Wage Placements

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Minister for Social Development and Employment

· 20,589 people supported into jobs through Flexi-Wage

· 37 per cent of participants identified as Māori, 13 per cent Pacific

· 88% of those on benefit for 2+ years at referral are current, completed or finished early and are not currently on benefit.

· 2478 participants (12 per cent) have a health condition, injury or disability

· Over 3,000 people with children have been supported by Flexi-wage

The success of the Government’s Flexi-Wage expansion continues with over 20,000 people supported into jobs.

“Flexi-Wage continues to be an important plank of our economic recovery plan. It’s been one of the many ways we’ve supported people into jobs, and employers to scale up their businesses, as we build a stronger New Zealand and continue our economic recovery,” Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.

“A critical part of Flexi-Wage has been the support for employers and their businesses, giving them the confidence to get back on their feet and take on new workers. If there’s one lesson we’ve been able to take from COVID-19, it’s been that our deliberate approach to targeted support and programmes is successful in getting people into jobs and keeping them off benefit,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Last year’s expansion also saw the widening of the eligibility to include job seekers disadvantaged in the labour market who may not necessarily be receiving a benefit.

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“It’s a tool that is also helping to meet skills and workforce shortages. Flexi-Wage is now being used to employ jobseekers in many different sectors including construction, retail, agriculture, forestry, fishing and food services.

“We need to continue building the skills of the people moving into the workforce, especially Māori and Pacific, parents and carers, disabled people and people with health conditions. These are the people who’ve felt the impacts of COVID, have lost jobs, had hours of work cut back and been affected by the previous National Government’s austerity cuts.

“Flexi-Wage has also been invaluable in helping people to start up their own business. Last year I contracted someone to paint my house, and who I later learnt had been able to access Flexi-Wage to help get his business off the ground. His business not only picked up two additional paint jobs on my street, but went on to become fully booked six months in advance.

“Its stories like these which really reinforce how lives can be transformed through interventions and tools that our Government has put in place to support people, particularly as we come out the other end of COVID and support families with the cost of living.

“With record numbers of people moving off Benefit and into work, unemployment at a near record low, incomes growing at a higher rate since records began and households better off under Labour, I’m confident that while we have more work to do, we’re on the right track,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

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