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Paula Bennett

8 February, 2013

Southern New Zealanders find work

More than 8150 people went off welfare into jobs in Work and Income’s Southern region over the last year.

The Southern Region includes South Canterbury, Central Otago, Otago and Southland.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of people on Unemployment Benefits in the Southern region dropped by 18 percent over 2012, down to 4,086.

“The Southern region has continued to show resilience in the face of a difficult job market nationwide,” says Mrs Bennett.

The number of young people on Unemployment Benefits fell 23 percent in the 2012.

The total number of people on benefits in the Southern region has dropped 5.7 percent to 20,639 in the same period.

“Southern job seekers are being recruited for the Christchurch rebuild which is a smart move for both employers and employees,” says Mrs Bennett.

The travelling roadshow FOR REAL bus is currently promoting rebuild employment opportunities in the Southern region.

An outbound calling programme is also underway to promote the initiative.

The FOR REAL project provides pre-employment and on-the-job training for Christchurch’s infrastructure industry.

People learn real skills, get a qualification and are fast-tracked into a career.

In the last year 82,000 New Zealanders went off benefit into work.