12 August 2019
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Hon Willie Jackson
Minister of Employment
Making sure all New Zealanders can achieve their potential by developing skills, finding secure employment and having
fulfilling careers is the driving force for the Government’s Employment Strategy, released today by Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern and Employment Minister Willie Jackson.
“We are doing this because work is more than just how people support themselves and their families. It also provides a
sense of purpose, a feeling of community and belonging, and the chance to use existing skills and develop new ones,”
Jacinda Ardern says.
“At the same time, a well-functioning labour market is vital for economic growth which in turn, allows us to tackle the
long-term challenges we must address to lift the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
“We need a joined-up approach across education and training, the social welfare system and active labour market
strategies to work with people to get them into the right kind of jobs. On all these fronts we have work underway.
“You will know the work we have done with our Reform of Vocational Education (ROVE) to make sure we are tackling the
long-term challenges of skills shortages and the mismatch between training provided and the needs of employers.
“In our social welfare system we made a significant investment in the Wellbeing Budget for 263 extra frontline staff to
help support more people into meaningful work.
“Now we add in the Employment Strategy to complement these efforts with its focus on better and more inclusive
employment outcomes for all New Zealanders that also meet employers’ needs.
The strategy will:
- build a skilled workforce by ensuring the education, immigration, welfare systems all pull in the same direction to
unlock people’s potential and enable businesses to get the skills they need
- support industries and regions to thrive by ensuring they are well served by the skills and training system
- support workplaces to modernise by encouraging them to make the most of New Zealand’s increasingly diverse workforce
- support workers and businesses to be resilient and adaptable in the face of the changing nature of work by making sure
New Zealanders have good foundation skills and participate in lifelong learning.
- support a more inclusive labour market to better enable people to grow their skills and careers and have decent and
It will be overseen by Minister Jackson and include the Labour Market Ministers Group of Ministers Woods, Hipkins,
Sepuloni, Lees-Galloway, and Martin.
Willie Jackson says the Employment Strategy will be delivered through a series of six Action Plans – chosen to ensure
that those who consistently experience poor labour market outcomes have the support they need to find work.
The Government today released the first of these, the Youth Employment Action Plan which supports young people through
programmes such as He Poutama Rangatahi and Mana in Mahi, creating a long term employment pipeline.
“The Youth Employment Action Plan sets out how the Government will put young people onto a stronger pathway to reaching
their fullest potential,” Willie Jackson says.
“We are supporting them to enhance their skills, kick-start their career prospects and earn a good living, as well as
provide employers with the skilled, motivated talent they need.
“Supporting people at a young age is proven to make a lifelong difference in their careers and wellbeing and contributes
to their identity and sense of purpose,” Willie Jackson says.
The other Action Plans will cover the elderly, Maori, Pacific peoples, refugees and new migrants, and those with
“We want every New Zealander, regardless of gender, age, where they live or the technology they have access too, to have
the opportunity to have long dignified careers,” Willie Jackson says.
“This will help them, the businesses they work for, the economy and the overall wellbeing of New Zealanders as a whole,”
Willie Jackson says.
More information on the Employment Strategy and Action Plans can be found at www.mbie.govt.nz/employment-strategy