Community Max programme expandedSocial Development and Employment
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett joins Associate Minister Tariana Turia in announcing the expansion of Community Max to four targeted areas.
"The Government is investing $17.4 million in Community Max programmes for Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and the East Coast to address high unemployment in those areas," says Ms Bennett.
"This investment means another 1,500 young people will gain experience and skills while working with the community," says Mrs Turia.
"This programme has had a high uptake and has generated considerable enthusiasm across communities and throughout Government," says Mrs Turia.
"It is really pleasing to know that 82 percent who've completed it have so far remained off a benefit, with 43 percent of those currently in work or training and gaining real life skills," says Ms Bennett.
"Most importantly, disconnected young people are engaging with their communities and in turn, communities are taking responsibility for nurturing and encouraging their young people to develop their potential," says Mrs Turia.
Community Max was launched in August last year as part of the Government's Youth Opportunities programme.
It provides a six-month placement for 16 to 24 year olds to work on community or environmental projects, where participants are paid at least the minimum wage and are eligible for training related to their project.
"This has been a win-win for young people and their communities with over 3,000 placements already in community driven initiatives," says Ms Bennett.
"It's been particularly successful among Maori communities, with half of all Community Max participants young Maori," says Mrs Turia.
The four regions chosen feature among the highest unemployment rates in the country where 46 to 65 percent of Unemployment Beneficiaries are Maori.