Job Scheme Numbers Rising Fast

  • Peter McCardle

The latest figures for the numbers of people on Community Taskforce are right on target, and putting down a strong foundation for the upcoming Community Wage projects, Employment Minister Peter McCardle said today.

Employment Service figures just released show that in June there were 8169 people taking part in Taskforce projects. The target was a range of 7 - 10,000.

Mr McCardle said he's delighted that the programme is doing so well.

Since the beginning of the year the number of people in Community Taskforce has doubled. It is expected that next year between 25,000 and 30,000 people will participate.

Mr McCardle said, "Not only do the jobseekers help the community organisations they work with, but they also helped themselves by picking up skills and keeping active and in touch with the workforce. It's a positive use of their time until they can get paid employment, and the June figures show the Government's strategy for dealing with unemployment is succeeding."

The overall aim is to move people lacking skills and work experience closer to a paid job. The jobseekers work with community organisations on projects which would otherwise not get done, for 18 - 24 hours a week, over a maximum period of 26 weeks. The work cannot be done for profit, and includes activities such as eradication of noxious pests and weeds, upgrading marae, and helping in schools.

Community Taskforce is the prototype for the Community Work projects which will begin on October 1.

It is one of a number of work and training programmes which an estimated 63 - 68,000 people will take part in over the 1998/99 year.