- New Zealand’s Flexi-wage program has supported over 20,000 people into jobs.
- It has been an important tool for helping businesses in getting the right people.
- Maoris and Pacific workers are prominent beneficiaries of this plan.
New Zealand’s Flexi-wage program has been able to support more than 20,000 people into jobs, said a New Zealand government release today (14 November 2022). According to the Minister for Social Development and Employment, Carmel Sepuloni, the program continues to be an important plank of the economic recovery plan.
The scheme supports employers in hiring workers, specifically people at risk of long-term unemployment and receiving a benefit. This was an important part of the 2020 campaign of the Labour Party, with the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern giving it an important place in her policy statement.
As per the release, this plan has supported people to get jobs and also businesses to scale up to help in the speedy economic recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister said that the government’s deliberate approach to targeted support and programs has led to more people being in jobs in NZ.
Highlights of program:
- The program has supported 20,589 people.
- Out of these, 37% are Maoris, and 13% are Pacific.
- 12% of the participants have a health condition, injury, or disability.
- Over 3,000 people with children have been supported.
Further, the Flexi-wage plan has proved to be an important tool in meeting skilled and workforce shortages and is being used to employ job seekers in many different sectors of the economy, including construction, retail, agriculture forest, and fishing.
The release also stated that this plan has been successful in helping people start their own businesses.
Sepuloni further said that through this plan, people continue to build their skills to move into the workforce, especially the Maori, Pacific, and disabled people.
Some of these people have felt the impacts of COVID, have lost their jobs, had hours of work cut back, or have been affected by other austerity cuts.
The release also claimed that with people moving out of the benefits scheme of the government and getting into work, the unemployment rates have been at a record low.