Beneficiaries seek out emerging jobsSocial Development
More than 700 beneficiaries have sought out and landed jobs despite having no requirement to work since the new Work Bonus became available.
“We introduced a work bonus as an incentive to help people move off a benefit and onto a wage,” says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
The government is making a difference through a modernised welfare system by setting expectations, incentives and support to work.
Operational since July 15, the latest welfare reforms include the new Work Bonus, which allows the benefit to be phased out incrementally so people keep a proportion of it as they transition to a wage.
“Even just six weeks into the policy, 706 people had gone off benefit into work and were getting the Work Bonus,” says Mrs Bennett.
“The majority were sole parents, but more than 80 were people choosing to go off the Supported Living Payment (previously Invalid’s Benefit) into work.”
Work opportunities are emerging nationwide and beneficiaries will continue to snap up these jobs with employers choosing to recruit via Work and Income.
Home Support North is looking for around 70 part time support workers in Kerikeri and Whangarei. A new Supervalue supermarket opening in Avondale, Auckland provided work for five beneficiaries and likewise a FreshChoice supermarket will create 30 new jobs in West Auckland’s Ranui when it opens.
Z petrol stations regularly use Work and Income for recruitment. Seventeen beneficiaries gained jobs in Auckland Z stations in May and June alone.
“Three of those seventeen had done the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) scheme. The Opposition writes this course off, but it motivates people to work,” says Mrs Bennett.
Another ten LSV graduates of the Hobsonville course have been interviewed for more positions at Z stations.
A number of new and expanding businesses are opening sites or starting up in areas that will benefit from the new jobs emerging including:
- Progressive enterprises re-opening a refurbished Wellington supermarket
- Sea Dragon Marine Oils doubling staff levels and opening a new factory in Richmond
- New Subway sandwich store in Nelson
- Drivers and labourers needed by Smart Environment Limited for recycling and rubbish disposal in Westport
- Rydges Latimer Square Christchurch hotel now open and taking staff
Jobs are becoming available around the country and Work and Income are making every effort to match them with motivated beneficiaries.
“The new, modernised welfare system is providing real incentives and support to move into work and people are taking up the opportunities as they arise.”