11 Aug 2020

New service to help jobseekers opens

10:31 am on 11 August 2020

A new service is open to help connect everyone seeking and offering employment and training.

Minisrty of Social Development

Connected locations are operating in 35 of Ministry of Social Development offices around the country. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said the context of Covid-19 in which people were losing jobs meant it was important to have a one-stop-shop so no-one struggled to find the support and services available.

The service can be accessed online, by phone or on site at government hubs and aims to help people find a job, find staff, train or retrain, and find business support.

"We haven't experienced the economic drop that had been forecast but we have to brace ourselves," Sepuloni said.

"We may physically be a few islands but we aren't operating in isolation from the rest of the world so there may be global impacts that we have to deal with.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 28: Carmel Sepuloni speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on April 28, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni Photo: Pool / Getty Images

"Unemployment is one of the realities of Covid and we're seeing it internationally."

Though some people's wage subsidy had already come to an end there had not been a major increase of people transferring to the Covid-19 income relief payment, she said.

"The Covid temporary job loss cover has not been accessed to the extent that we thought it would be. That's a good sign but we're certainly not going to be complacent.

Sepuloni said about 20,000 people were on the Covid payment as at about two weeks ago.

An eight-week extension to the wage subsidy, which had been announced after the introduction of the Covid income relief payment, had an impact on numbers taking it up, she said.

Sepuloni said despite the impact of Covid-19, there were jobs available. There were 7540 main benefit cancellations in July 2020 because of people moving into work compared with 5253 in July 2019.

'Connected' locations are operating in 35 of Ministry of Social Development's employment-focused sites around the country and the three Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Jobs and Skills Hubs.

The online portal is supported by a phone line: 0800 264 737.

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