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Support for Mana in Mahi.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst welcomes the Government’s announcement for the Mana in Mahi – a new initiative to support growing a skilled workforce.

The scheme, Mana in Mahi or Strength in Work, is for 18 to 24-year-olds who have been on a benefit for six months or more.

Employers will be encouraged to take on the apprentices for one year to work towards a level 4 qualification.

The income equivalent of the person's benefit will be paid to the employer and the employer will be expected to top that up to at least the minimum wage.  Employers will also be supported with extra funding for pastoral care.

Hawke’s Bay has the highest NEET (not in education, employment or training) rate in New Zealand of 17.6 percent.

Over the past year, Hastings District Council’s Youth Team has succeeded in getting 64 young people into work by partnering with Youth Futures Trust and the Ministry of Social Development.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says the Council’s Youth Connectors are doing amazing work to develop young people’s work readiness and the Mana in Mahi initiative will hopefully be another tool they can use to get young people into sustainable career paths.  “We will get behind anything which encourages workplaces to take on apprentices and which makes it easier for 18 – 24 year olds to get off the benefit and into training and employment.”

“It is an enormous commitment for employers to take on an apprentice.  I hope this incentive will encourage more opportunities to support employers.”

The Mayor says this scheme will add a vital element to our economy.  “We need to keep thinking of initiatives to bolster our skilled workforce.  We have many opportunities in our manufacturing and primary industry sectors where there’s a shortage of skilled people.  This scheme could help fill those gaps.”

“Alongside the government, we want to encourage and support our young people into productive employment.  It is time to acknowledge the important contribution the skills of a trade qualification contributes to our region’s economy.”

Mana in Mahi will start with a pilot for up to 150 people and will be available for up to as many as 4,000 people from next year.

13 August 2018

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