Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
MP for Mt Albert
Hon Willie Jackson
Minister of Employment
9 August 2018PĀNUI PĀPĀHO
Thousands of young people will be given the chance to gain valuable qualifications and meaningful work under the Mana in
Mahi – Strength in Work scheme launched by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today.
“Our young people have so much promise - we’re going help them bring that promise to life by giving them the power to
get into a job and gain qualifications with our support,” says Jacinda Ardern.
Mana in Mahi - Strength in Work is designed to help young people (18-24) who have been on a benefit for six months or
more. Employers will be encouraged to take on young people and help them work towards a Level 4 qualification.
The scheme will pay income equivalent ofthe person’s benefit, with the employer topping that up at least to the minimum
wage, and be supported with extra funding for pastoral care from $3,000 and up to $6,000.
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
“Mana in Mahi is all about supporting our young people. We’ll help them earn an apprenticeship or other qualification so
they can get on the pathway to life-long work. It’s a win-win – they get off the benefit and enjoy the dignity of work
while encouraging employers to take on apprentices they might otherwise not have trained.
“We know these young people are dealing with many challenges in their daily lives that most of us don’t have to deal
with. That’s why we’re also investing in pastoral care to make sure they get the support they need to keep learning and
earning, and to ease the pressure on employers.
“Mana in Mahi is another step in our broader plan of supporting young people into training and apprenticeships and
dealing with skills shortages. Our fees free policy provides two years of support for apprenticeship training and is
helping thousands of students get qualifications already,” says Jacinda Ardern.
Minister of Employment Willie Jackson says this Government is committed to supporting people to get the skills they need
to find good employment with opportunities for the future, and at the same time we are addressing skill shortages.
“The current unemployment rate is relatively low at 4.5 percent but there is still work to do for young people. Eleven
percent of 15-24 year olds are NEETS – Not in Employment, Education or Training – and it’s around 15percent for Maori
and Pacific people. That’s not good enough,” says Willie Jackson.
The programme will be rolled out in phases with the first involving two employer groups and initially about 40 places
ready to go in October with 150 places expected to be filled next year. Mana in Mahi will then become available for up
to 4000 places following evaluation from the middle of 2019.
Two employers involved at the start are:
• Sub-contractors of Downer New Zealand Limited (Nation-wide and Auckland-based contractors)
• Wellington Hospitality Group (Wellington)