Week that was: Jobs, trades training and supporting Kiwi workers

It was another busy week out on the campaign trail, with Labour focused on jobs, training, and supporting Kiwi workers. As we continue to roll out our five-point plan for recovery, we’re investing in our people, businesses, communities and vital services, so we can keep our economy moving as we rebuild New Zealand together.

On Monday, Jacinda Ardern popped in to visit Hillside Workshops in Dunedin, where she met with apprentice Brooke - who was so keen to work for Hillside, she knocked on the door three times until they gave her a job! 

Trades training is a big part of our economic recovery plan, which is why we’ve made apprenticeships free and introduced the Apprenticeship Boost, which provides up to $16,000 for businesses to take on or keep on their apprentices, paid out over the first two years of training. It’s just one of the ways we're investing in our people as we rebuild and keep New Zealand moving.

Jacinda Ardern 🗣️ "Visited Hillside Workshops in Dunedin today, where our $20 million investment will help redevelop the...

Posted by New Zealand Labour Party on Monday, September 14, 2020

On Tuesday, we released our education policy. Our vision is for New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, and a world class education system is a vital part of that. That’s why we announced that we will:

  • Significantly close the pay gap for teachers working in education and care centres
  • Replace the decile system with the Equity Index
  • Roll out the Free and Healthy School Lunches programme to a quarter of all school-aged children
  • Target funding in areas such as trades training and apprenticeships as we recover and rebuild, supported by the Reform of Vocational Education

Our plan for education builds on the gains we have made in our first term in Government to improve the wellbeing and lift the achievement levels of all students. You can read more about our policy here.

Wednesday saw the release of the Pre-election economic and fiscal update, which showed that New Zealand’s economy is doing better than forecast, with lower unemployment and higher growth expected.

We’ve always said a strong health response was the best economic response, and the latest Treasury figures show that our approach is working. Unemployment is forecast to be lower than expected, and our economy is forecast to grow faster than many other countries’.

Treasury now forecasts that unemployment will peak at 7.8%, down from the 9.8% forecast in the Budget. The New Zealand economy is forecast to grow by an average of 4.2% across 2021 and 2022, compared to Australia at 3.6% and the United States at 3.5%.

You can read more about the latest figures and our plan to keep New Zealand moving here.

Our careful economic management means we’ve been able to invest significantly in roads, rail, schools and hospitals...

Posted by New Zealand Labour Party on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

On Thursday, Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson were in Palmerston North, where they outlined $5 billion in infrastructure investment across the lower North Island. The investment includes shovel ready projects that will roll out over the next 18 months, along with a pipeline of infrastructure that will continue to support the region over time. Together, these will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in every community in the region. You can find the full list of projects here.

We also released our regional development policy this week. Our regions are a vital part of our economic recovery plan. They’re home to innovative and creative businesses, and are the backbone of our export economy which is why Labour will continue to support our regions to grow as together, we rebuild better.

On Friday, Jacinda Ardern was in the Wairarapa to announce that, if re-elected, Labour will prioritise investments in our regions with a new targeted $200m fund to support their economic development. Get all the details here.

Finally, on Saturday, we announced our plan to support working New Zealanders and protect them while they are at work. It is more important than ever given the global COVID-19 pandemic that we prioritise the health and wellbeing of workers, and the safety of their workplaces.

That’s why Labour will extend minimum sick leave entitlements for all workers to ten days a year. This will allow workers to stay home if they are sick, and will also give working parents more flexibility to look after sick children. We will continue to lift the minimum wage, raising it to $20 an hour in 2021, and will progressively extend Living Wage guarantees to workers employed by public service contractors – starting with our cleaners, caterers, and security guards.

Check back next week for the next installment of this weekly series, and back us on Election Day with two ticks for Labour.

Want to know more about Labour’s policies? Check out all the information you need to cast your vote on 17 October.