Expansion of Construction programme to upskill people on benefit

A construction programme giving young people on benefit training and work experience building community houses was formally launched by Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, today. 

 Minister Sepuloni launched the Kiwi Can Do programme for the Lower North Island alongside Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa and Employment Minister Willie Jackson at the Wesley Rātā Village site in Lower Hutt, this morning. 

“This initiative fulfils several of this Government’s priorities - to upskill and train young people on benefit for industries like construction, that have a severe shortage of skilled workers and to increase the supply of community housing to low and middle income New Zealanders,” Carmel Sepuloni said. 

The programme is a joint venture between MSD employment provider Kiwi Can Do, MSD, Wesley Community Action and modular construction company EasyBuild. 

“This Kiwi Can Do programme has capacity for 480 extra people on benefit to be trained in the Lower North Island, over the next year. This will increase Kiwi Can Do participants to a maximum of 1200 per year nationwide.

“People on benefit will have access to pre-employment training and work experience under trade qualified mentors, and once placed into a job, Kiwi Can Do will provide up to a year of in-work support

Wesley Community Action and EasyBuild Ltd have already started work on the construction of 25 community houses on the Wesley Rātā Village site. MSD clients will get training assembling the prefab homes. 

This Government is committed to training and up-skilling people on benefit for jobs of the future. The construction industry is moving progressively towards prefabricated construction. So opportunities for people on benefit to get hands on experience is invaluable,” Carmel Sepuloni said.