Publish date: 20/11/2019

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is encouraging North Canterbury business owners to consider a subsidy that supports the employment of young, unskilled job seekers.

The flexi-wage subsidy, which was introduced by the Government in 2012, is designed to support people on a jobseeker benefit into sustainable employment by connecting the jobseeker with a suitable role and covering the costs of any training or mentoring that might be needed as well as part of the employee’s wages.

MSD Work Broker for North Canterbury Michelle Becks (pictured) says the subsidy is a great opportunity for both employers and employees.

“Our flexi-wage subsidy provides local employers with the opportunity to invest in upskilling young people aged 18 to 24 years within our community. As a work broker, it’s so great to see these young people coming in and getting an opportunity within their community. They want to work and give back while gaining skills and confidence. It helps both the young jobseekers and the employers who want to give them a hand up.”

Owner/operator of Kaiapoi New World Shane Scott (also pictured) has hired several young staff members through the flexi-wage scheme.

“We here at Kaiapoi New World have taken on several local youths through the MSD flexi-wage scheme and have found it a very rewarding experience for both the workers and ourselves,” says Shane.

“When given the opportunity, most young people have proven willing, honest and reliable and it is a pleasure to see them grow over their time with us. To offer work experience to these young people that sees them go onto full time employment is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of. We’d like to say thank you and well done to MSD.”

Miles Dalton of Enterprise North Canterbury also encourages local business owners to consider the flexi-wage option.

“There are lots of employers who are keen to give young people the opportunity to prove themselves while gaining some good skills and work experience. Flexi-wage takes a lot of the risk and cost away when you give someone a chance. It’s well worth exploring,” he said.

Businesses wishing to find out more about the flexi-wage subsidy criteria or wishing to fill a role via the scheme should contact Ministry of Social Development North Canterbury Work Broker Michelle Becks on 029 251 1280 or michelle.becks007@msd.govt.nz or visit https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/employers/subsidies-training-and-other-help/flexi-wage.html#null