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Ed Sheeran

Maori job scheme set to expand
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Employment Minister Willie Jackson says Budget 2020 has been a chance to supercharge some programmes that will make a long term difference to Māori job numbers.

Mr Jackson is one of the big winners from a Budget which highlights jobs and training as a way to help New Zealand recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It includes a $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package that has in it $50m for a Māori Apprenticeships Fund, as well as widening the criteria for who can train or retrain.

There’s $121 million more for He Poutama Rangatahi, a youth employment programme, which Mr Jackson says came out of Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones saying he wanted to get the neffs off the couch.

"We’ve got a lot of neffs off the couch. We've got 3000 of them off the couch in the past couple of years. The beauty of He Poutama Rangatahi now is we're moving it into the cities and some of these young ones walking around Mangere and Otara, we've got to get hem activated, motivated, skilled up and getting onto our programmes." he says.

Willie Jackson says the Government is keen to work in partnership with iwi and Māori organisations to ensure its various job and training initiatives target the greatest need.

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