Creating jobs is a key part of our plan to grow the economy, support communities and seize the opportunities created by our world-leading COVID response. We’ve already started rolling out initiatives that are creating thousands of jobs right around the country, and we’ll keep up this momentum as we continue to support New Zealanders through the pandemic.
Thanks to our careful economic management before COVID-19, and our strong health response since the virus arrived in New Zealand, we’ve been able to get our economy going faster than many other countries. We’ve already seen 30,000 exits from benefits as people get back into work after the lockdown. However, we know there are challenging times ahead, and so it’s important we do all we can to keep our economy moving.
Our five-point plan supports our economic recovery by creating jobs, and by making it easier for people to upskill or retrain for the jobs we need for the rebuild. We’re also making sure these new jobs are helping us to build back better - not only keeping New Zealanders in work, but doing ‘double duty’ by protecting our environment, helping us move to cleaner energy or replacing aging infrastructure.
For example, we’re creating almost 11,000 new environment jobs across New Zealand, which will help clean up our waterways and protect our native wildlife. Another 20,000 jobs will be created through our investment in shovel-ready infrastructure projects, such as replacing wastewater networks, building new flood protection systems and upgrading community facilities like libraries and swimming pools. This is on top of the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme we rolled out earlier this year to support local jobs and upgrade roads, rail, hospitals and schools in every town around the country.
We’re also funding 8,000 new public and transitional homes, which will create construction jobs while ensuring more Kiwi families have a warm, healthy place to live. And to make sure we have the skilled workforce needed for our rebuild, we’ve made all apprenticeships free, along with trades training in targeted areas. This will make it easier for people impacted by COVID-19, or those entering the labour market for the first time, to upskill and retrain for these new jobs.
Our recovery and rebuild plan has already helped cushion the blow of the pandemic, and it will help New Zealand bounce back faster. We have the opportunity to emerge stronger by investing in the long-term challenges in front of us – which is why our plan will create much-needed jobs and economic stimulus now, while also helping ensure New Zealand is an even better place for our children and grandchildren.
You can read more about our plan here.