New Funder For Vocational Services Providers

  • Nick Smith
Associate Minister of Social Welfare

Associate Minister of Social Services Nick Smith today announced the transfer of the remaining vocational services from the Community Funding Agency (CFA) to Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) from 1 July 1999.

"A key objective of Government is to provide integration of employment related services. Transferring vocational service providers builds on the work already put in with the establishment of WINZ. It is also part of our philosophy towards a greater emphasis on people with disabilities being supported in employment rather than just being viewed as welfare recipients."

Vocational service providers are funded by Government to deliver programmes to assist people with practical work and living skills, with the goal of placing them in paid work. One example is the Deaf Association of New Zealand, which has 11 branches throughout the country, and develops plans for each person which are specifically tailored to their needs.

Mr Smith said this was the final stage in a review which began in 1996, when the Government announced its intention to mainstream services for people with disabilities. On 1 July 1998 responsibility for the purchase of all vocational placement services for people with disabilities transferred to WINZ. Prior to that, other employment placement contracts and the Self Start programme were transferred to the Employment Service. Responsibility for daily activities, sheltered employment, supported employment and vocational training remained with NZCFA.

Mr Smith said this announcement would provide certainty for the sector following a long period of review and would not mean funding changes for the current year.

"The Government wants to ensure the transition minimises disruption to community organisations and people with disabilities. NZCFA and WINZ will be working to ensure the transfer is as smooth as possible."