22 Aug 2014

Parties set out job creation strategies

8:40 am on 22 August 2014

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says despite more bad news on the job front, jobs are being created and training is giving people essential skills.

At least 210 jobs are likely to be lost in Central Hawke's Bay after the directors of the roading contractor Infracon recommended the company be liquidated.

Steven Joyce  during a press conference regarding Novopay next steps.

Steven Joyce Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

And in Auckland, the country's largest stationery supplier, Croxley, is considering closing its main factory, with 100 jobs at risk.

Steven Joyce said National's policies were helping create employment, with 83,000 new jobs in the past year, the highest number in 10 years.

Job growth was significant in the high-tech and niche manufacturing sectors, he said.

Mr Joyce told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme the Government had been focused on growing jobs and training opportunities.

"The emphasis on ICT with the graduate schools and emphasis on engineering, attracting investment.

"I think the work we're doing with NZTE (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) to attract investment across the regions and across New Zealand is really showing some great dividends."

Grant Robertson.

Grant Robertson. Photo: RNZ

Labour's employment spokesperson Grant Robertson says businesses and local government in the regions are telling him they need more support from central Government.

Mr Robertson told Morning Report Labour would achieve this this by being more active in the economy and would deliver higher-value jobs to the country.

He said the party would change monetary policy to support exporters and would invest in manufacturing through a regional growth fund and research and development tax credits.

"We want there to be opportunities for jobs here but they've got to be ones that provide decent jobs and higher wages. That's why talking about an upgrade of the economy focusing on sectors like ICT, high-value manufacturing, wood processing, where we add value and that creates higher value jobs."