Many more young New Zealanders will be helped into work and training with the expansion of the successful Mana in Mahi programme, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Employment Minister Willie Jackson said today.A year on from its launch, the Prime Minister and Minister Jackson were in Edgecumbe, visiting one of the 161 employers taking young people through the programme, to mark the expansion of Mana in Mahi, that was announced in the Wellbeing Budget.
“Mana in Mahi helps young New Zealanders get valuable sought-after skills and qualifications to kick start their career,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
“Getting that first job and some relevant recognised qualifications is the first step in getting on the pathway to lifelong work. That will not only help the people taking part but will boost the businesses they are working with and help lift the economy overall.
“This is just one example of how this Government is tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand in order to ensure we have a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that delivers for all New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern says.
A $49.9 million boost extends the places available from 150 up to 2,000, well on the way to the goal of 4,000 places. The criteria for placement in Mana in Mahi has also been extended to now include young people not in employment or education (NEETs).
The programme, which is designed to provide employment and an industry training qualification pathway to young people on a benefit, sees employers receive a wage subsidy (at the annual Jobseeker Support rate) and support for work-readiness or pre-employment costs.
“With Mana in Mahi young people get the chance to achieve a formal industry training qualification, such as an apprenticeship, and get paid while they train to do a job they love,” Willie Jackson says.
“Employers told us taking on a trainee is a big commitment, especially for smaller businesses. Mana and Mahi helps employers with the costs of pre-employment and on-the-job training costs.
“This Government wants all New Zealander’s to thrive. Mana in Mahi means more employers can train and develop the next generation of skilled workers while growing their business at the same time,” Willie Jackson said.