6 ways we're supporting Kiwis into work

You might have heard that New Zealand’s unemployment rate is down to 4% – and that record numbers of Kiwis have been moving off the benefit and into work. We’re proud that our efforts to strengthen the job market, upskill our workforce, and support local businesses are paying off as we continue with our COVID recovery.

Here are just six of the ways we’re helping people into work:

He Poutama Rangatahi

Our He Poutama Rangatahi programme connects rangatahi not currently in work, training or employment with job opportunities. It has already supported more than 2,500 young people into employment, education or training.

Now, as part of our plan to secure our recovery, we’re further expanding the programme, so we can support an extra 300 rangatahi to overcome barriers to work and education and get the skills they need for their future.

Apprenticeship Boost

We established Apprenticeship Boost to help employers keep and take on new apprentices through COVID-19, creating work opportunities and filling skill gaps as we continue our recovery. It has supported over 31,000 people into a trade since it was launched a year ago, backing apprentices and employers to succeed. This March, we announced that the programme would be extended to run through to August next year – because it works.

This is on top of our free trades training and apprenticeships initiative, which we also launched last year. Already, more than 144,000 people have taken up free training or apprenticeships through the scheme, helping to build the skilled workforce we need for our rebuild.


We promised to expand Flexi-wage to support more people into work – and we’ve delivered. Flexi-wage is a programme that supports businesses to take on new workers who may need a bit of extra training or support. We delivered on our election commitment to expand the programme in February and, since then, more than 4,782 people have been placed into employment.

Māori Trades and Training Fund

As part of our COVID response, we launched the Māori Trades and Training Fund to help Māori jobseekers into jobs and training and to support businesses to take on apprentices. The Māori Trades and Training Fund is unique in the wrap-around support it offers jobseekers from a te ao Māori world view. This week, we announced further investments through the fund that will support more than 500 people into employment and training opportunities.

Mana in Mahi

This week, we’re celebrating four years of Mana in Mahi! Mana in Mahi partners with businesses to support long-term unemployed people into work and apprenticeships, giving young New Zealanders sought-after skills and qualifications. The programme has helped more than 2,500 people into work in the past 12 months alone.

Jobs for Nature

Jobs for Nature is a programme that does double duty: restoring and protecting our unique ecosystems, while also creating jobs in our regions to support our COVID recovery.

As of June this year, nearly 4,000 people have been employed on these projects – and that number is moving steadily upwards, with more projects joining the Jobs for Nature programme all the time. Just this week, funding has been announced for a number of Taranaki projects that will create 58 jobs.


These are just some of the ways we’re growing jobs and supporting Kiwis into work as we secure our COVID recovery. There’s more to do to ensure that as we rebuild our economy, we come out COVID stronger than ever – but as these six initiatives show, we’re on the right track.

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