As we move forward with our recovery, we’re creating jobs, supporting people into work, and making sure that more Kiwis can get the skills they need to prosper. We’re also supporting businesses, including here in South Otago, to access the skilled workers they need.
The significant investments by Government in the Southland and Otago engineering sector (SOREC) has enabled 34 engineering and manufacturing businesses in Southland and Otago to upgrade tomore efficient machinery ($6.9 million), allowing businesses to grow and train the local workforce and keep up the momentum of recovery.
The latest figures show that unemployment has remained at near record lows thanks to our economic approach that supports families and businesses, resulting in more people in work, and rising wages.
We’re also making good progress on our plan to grow the skilled workforce the region needs for the jobs of tomorrow. Across the country, we’ve supported more than 200,000 Kiwis through our free apprenticeships and trades training programmes, and we’re seeing more people move into jobs through successful initiatives like Flexi›wage and He Poutama Rangatahi.
Our Government is committed to playing our part to make sure that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to thrive. We recently saw our Mana in Mahi programme — which works with businesses to get young people at risk of long›term unemployment into work and training — surpass its target, and overwhelmingly keep participants in work.
On top of this, we’re well under way with our work to create jobs in Otago and around the country, including through investment in vital infrastructure — which also boosts economic growth, and prepares us for the future.
We know that there are some sectors and businesses facing skill shortages right now. To provide further support, we recently rebalanced our immigration settings so that the system is streamlined and simpler for businesses to attract the workers they need. This is in addition to our significant investment in training programmes to upskill more New Zealanders.
As we continue to roll out our plan to build a productive and inclusive economy that delivers for everyone, we’re also taking steps to ease the pressure on Kiwi families in the here and now.
While the world is facing a difficult time, New Zealand is well positioned to respond to the challenges. Thanks to our efforts through Covid, our economy has come through the pandemic better than nearly anywhere in the world, with exports up and debt among the lowest in the OECD.
These strong fundamentals mean we’re able to support families here in South Otago through this tough period, with our cost of living package, fuel tax cut, and more.
We will continue to work hard to reduce cost pressures on Kiwi families, while taking the next steps towards a resilient economy that provides security for all.