[Sitting date: 20 September 2012. Volume:684;Page:5502. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
ALFRED NGARO (National) to the
Minister for Social Development: What announcement has the Government recently made on the Limited Services Volunteer programme?
Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development)
: Today the Prime Minister and I announced an initiative that will see more graduates of the Limited Service Volunteer course get work opportunities. We are asking employers to take on motivated young people who have done the Limited Service Volunteer course and are ready to work. The Limited Service Volunteer programme is a free 6-week course held at the Hobsonville, Trentham, and Burnham military camps, for 18 to 25-year-olds who are on benefit. Young people are referred to the Limited Service Volunteer programme by Work and Income, and the course is run by the New Zealand Defence Force. Here young people learn respect, discipline, and teamwork through a programme that focuses on getting them work-ready.
Alfred Ngaro: How can employers offer a young person a job?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: Employers can take on our Limited Service Volunteer graduates and there are employment subsidies available through the Government’s Job Streams initiative, which can help. I would encourage employers to get in touch with Work and Income. They can just ring 0800 778 008 and offer those young people a job. Sixty-two percent of those who go through this course do not go back on to benefit. We think we can do better by them for that.
Alfred Ngaro: What results has the Limited Service Volunteer programme seen to date?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: I know that the House has difficulty sometimes with good news for young people, but we have had truly encouraging results. For example, I know of one manufacturing employer who recently was looking for just one staff member. He interviewed four graduates from the Limited Service Volunteers, and he ended up taking two. He then went out of his way to get the other two a job with his mates in businesses around him because he saw that they were motivated young people. The number of young people on the unemployment benefit has gone down by over 10,000, by 20 percent, in the last year. We are seeing encouraging results, and we would like to see more.