Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni have announced the expansion of the Flexi-wage Scheme, designed to help Kiwis who lost their jobs during COVID to start new careers.
"Flexi-wage is an important plank of our economic recovery plan," Ardern said.
"The expansion of it is expected to help thousands more New Zealanders into employment.”
The scheme helps businesses take on new workers, it is an employment programme that helps job seekers get a job and the skills needed to do that job. Flexi-wage support can include training and in-work support, as well as a contribution to wages. The job must be ongoing, continuing after the Flexi-wage has finished.
In expanding the Flexi-wage programme the government has:
- widened eligibility to support job seekers who are not on a benefit but are disadvantaged in the labour market.
- increased subsidy rates for eligible job seekers.
- introduced set rates and durations, to reflect the specific needs of individuals.
- increased support for people out of work who want to be self-employed.
The changes are expected to support up to 40,000 more New Zealanders over the next two years. The Government is investing an additional $300 million into Flexi-wage, including $30 million ringfenced to support people who are out of work into self-employment.
The expansion will take effect from Monday, February 15.