Mana in Mahi - Strength in Work Scheme has Potential to Help Manufacturers

9 August 2018

The Government has announced their Mana in Mahi – Strength in Work Scheme, which will provide support payments equivalent to the persons benefit to employers who take on apprentices aged 18 to 24 years, who have been on a benefit for six or more months.

“We are happy to see this focus on supporting our youth into apprenticeships which will provide great practical experience, skills and qualifications for many young people who are currently struggling to find employment and gain the skills they need to get good paying jobs.  If rolled out to include manufacturing companies next year, this scheme has potential to help incentivise manufacturers to take on additional apprentices and take a chance on some workers who may not have had access previously, increasing the skill base in our economy. Said Dr Dieter Adam, Chief Executive of The Manufacturers’ Network.

“In New Zealand we have dual problems of a high number of our youth who are not in employment, education or training, or underemployed, and productive businesses who are facing skill shortages that hold them back from further growth, particularly in the area of skilled trades’ workers.

“We are pleased that this policy is paired with additional support for pastoral care – this is particularly important for many of the people who come under the category of which this policy is targeting.  Without such additional support, the transition into an apprenticeship and work may be difficult and not as effective as it could be.  The Government should also support and encourage the use of group training schemes as part of this policy, as these are often very effective in these areas.

“When the policy is rolled out from 150 people to around 4000 next year, the Government needs to make sure manufacturing businesses have fair opportunity to bring apprentices on board under this scheme. “Says Dr Adam.