Woman Gets Job After 22 Years On Dpb

  • Peter McCardle
Associate Minister of Social Services, Work and Income (Work and Income)

An Auckland woman has been helped into work by WINZ after spending 22 years on the DPB, Associate Work and Income Minister Peter McCardle said today. She has a job in a rest home.

"She's delighted, and so am I, because getting a job after so long on a benefit is turning her life around. It is exactly the result we were looking for when making the welfare changes that led to the setting up of WINZ. She is gaining confidence, work skills, contacts and a work record - all of which she lacked before, and which are a major barrier to getting employment.

"After 22 years of being out of the workforce she thought she had no chance of finding anything, but her case manager at WINZ knew that wasn't so.

"Another Auckland woman who'd spent almost 20 years on the DPB has also got work through the same approach. She's now employed in a plastics factory. Both these women went on a specialist pre-employment programme to build up their self confidence, skill base and job hunting skills.

"These successes are the result of the creation of WINZ, which brought in the linking of employment with benefits, and which is the key reason for creating WINZ (not work-for-the -dole, as is often wrongly assumed). Without the new approach, those women would probably have faced spending even more years on a benefit, and then faced huge hurdles trying to get any kind of job in future," Mr McCardle said.

"The DPB was never intended to be a benefit lasting for decades.

"The DPB and a number of other benefits have become very long term for many people and they are among the groups we are giving priority to helping at WINZ: people who've been a long time out of the workforce. They generally lack self confidence, skills, motivation, and qualifications, and miss out on other benefits of having a job such as social contact.

"In the past, Income Support focussed mainly on paying people their benefits. But that changed with the creation of WINZ, and there is now strong emphasis on getting people into paid work if they are unemployed, or are capable of working.

Under the new policy, sole parents with children over 6 are now expected to be looking for part time work, and those withchildren over 14 are expected to be available for fulltime work. Most need help getting back into the job market, and providing that help is part of the role of their WINZ case manager.

"As the latest figures on DPB numbers show, some people have spent all their adult life - over 25 years in some cases - on the benefit. The DPB was never designed for that. I look forward to WINZ helping more people in this situation move into work," Mr McCardle concluded.