New Zealand launches apprenticeship-for-benefits scheme New Zealand launches apprenticeship-for-benefits scheme

New Zealand launches apprenticeship-for-benefits scheme
17 Aug 2018

The New Zealand Government has launched an apprenticeship scheme for young people aged 18 to 24 who have spent six months or more on benefits.

Called ‘Mana in Mahi’ – ‘Strength in Work’ in Maori - the programme will pay employers the value of the benefit to which the young person concerned is entitled and they will be required to top this sum up to at least the minimum wage. There will be also funding for additional pastoral care ranging from NZ$3,000 (US$1,980) to NZ$6,000 (US$3,961). 

The scheme will start with a 150-person pilot, which is expected to expand to 4,000 next year. According to Statistics NZ, some 12% of 18 to 24 year olds were not in employment, education or training in May

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "We'll help [young people] earn an apprenticeship or other qualification so they can get on the pathway to life-long work. They get off the benefit and enjoy the dignity of work, while encouraging employers to take on apprentices they might otherwise not have trained."

She added that while the pilot will focus on those who have been on benefits for more than six months, there was also potential to broaden the scheme out to people who have been on it for less time, or those at risk of going onto it.

The first two employers to take part in the pilot will be sub-contractors of construction engineering firm Downer New Zealand and the Wellington Hospitality Group, Newshub reported.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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The New Zealand Government has launched an apprenticeship scheme for young people aged 18 to 24 who have spent six months or more on benefits.

Called ‘Mana in Mahi’ – ‘Strength in Work’ in Maori - the programme will pay employers the value of the benefit to which the young person concerned is entitled and they will be required to top this sum up to at least the minimum wage. There will be also funding for additional pastoral care ranging from NZ$3,000 (US$1,980) to NZ$6,000 (US$3,961). 

The scheme will start with a 150-person pilot, which is expected to expand to 4,000 next year. According to Statistics NZ, some 12% of 18 to 24 year olds were not in employment, education or training in May

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "We'll help [young people] earn an apprenticeship or other qualification so they can get on the pathway to life-long work. They get off the benefit and enjoy the dignity of work, while encouraging employers to take on apprentices they might otherwise not have trained."

She added that while the pilot will focus on those who have been on benefits for more than six months, there was also potential to broaden the scheme out to people who have been on it for less time, or those at risk of going onto it.

The first two employers to take part in the pilot will be sub-contractors of construction engineering firm Downer New Zealand and the Wellington Hospitality Group, Newshub reported.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Finland's 'activation model' slashes unemployment benefits for thousands

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