Young beneficiaries get opportunities to work

  • Paula Bennett
Social Development and Employment Youth Affairs

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says Work and Income’s youth focused seminars are getting results, but non-attendance is a real issue.

“These seminars provide opportunities for young people to connect with local employers, or take up education that will lead to a job,” says Ms Bennett.

The seminars run by Work and Income around the country are seeing young people move off benefit into jobs and training.

“Young people who turn up to seminars with a positive attitude, ready to seize opportunities will get results, but those who don’t even bother to keep their appointment will miss out and could face sanctions.”

Turnout rates for the young people booked in to attend the seminars range from as low as 50% to up to 80%

“Over the last two months in Northland there were 66 youth seminars and of the 899 young people booked in, 62% turned up and 314 got in work or training, but 340 didn’t even show up and that’s disappointing.”

In the Central region which includes Palmerston North and Otaki, 42 seminars saw just 55% of the 989 youth booked to attend, actually show up. Of those who did attend, 326 were referred to jobs or training.

Work and Income offices in Otago and Southland have run 96 seminars in the last couple of months, with a 50% attendance rate. Of those who turned up to just a single seminar, 22 got jobs and 16 got training places.

“Those who don’t bother to take a few hours out of their day for a workshop could face a fifty percent sanction or even lose their benefit altogether.”

“Every month, around 7,000 people go off benefits into work and young people who turn up prepared to work, with the right attitude can find jobs.”