Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Auckland to celebrate an on-the-job training programme surpassing its targets.
The Mana in Mahi programme, aimed at getting beneficiaries connected with employers, was launched in 2018 and extended in 2019.
On Thursday, Ardern announced the programme has reached 5000 participants – 64% of whom are under 24 – and that 75% of those who had been on a benefit for two or more years hadn’t returned to the benefit after getting work.
Nearly 90% on the training pathway are on the path to getting a qualification at NZQA level 3 or higher, and 44% are Māori or Pasifika, according to the Ministry for Social Development and Employment.
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When the programme was extended in 2019, the government set a target of 4000 participants.
Ardern is visiting Contract Warehousing in East Tamaki on Thursday and will be speaking to media about the milestone at 10.45am.
Mana in Mahi is a New Zealand Work and Income initiative to support citizens or residents to study while they work with dedicated support from professionals.
The programme, which means ‘Strength in Work,’ was launched in 2018 to specifically support beneficiaries between 18 and 24 with apprenticeships and on-the-job training.
“Mana in Mahi, along with the Government’s suite of employment programmes, have helped to support our recovery from Covid-19 and remain a critical part of our plan to manage labour market impacts on those looking for work,” Ardern said.
“With unemployment at a record low, economic activity growing and as we make important investments in securing our recovery, Mana in Mahi is playing its part in building a skilled workforce and a resilient economy.”
Contract Warehousing recruits many of its new hires through the Ministry of Social Development, and has taken on Mana in Mahi participants.
“The Government are committed to playing its role in ensuring all New Zealanders have the opportunity to thrive,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.
“Mana in Mahi is one example of how we can foster those opportunities as we build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that delivers for everyone.