NZES to Take Responsibility for Supported Employment

  • Peter McCardle

The New Zealand Employment Service will pick up responsibility for the supported employment sector of the New Zealand Community Funding Agency from 1 July 1998, Employment Minister Peter McCardle and Associate Minister of Social Welfare Nick Smith said today.

"This transfer affects thirty-four contracted service providers and will see NZES utilise $3.8 million to purchase supported employment for people with disabilities."

The New Zealand Employment Service will roll over contracts with affected providers for the 1998/1999 fiscal year. This will promote integration of services to the sector and achieve a closer alignment of these particular Supported Employment programmes with the Open Employment strategies which were moved to NZES last year.

The funding shift is in line with the Government?s decision in 1996 to mainstream vocational services for people with a disability.

Work on the provision of other vocational services (the remaining NZCFA Supported Employment programmes, daily activities, vocational training and rehabilitation) continues.

A separate review of sheltered employment, the third step in the Government?s review of vocational services for people with a disability, is in process and expected to report back to Cabinet shortly.