Making sure all New Zealanders can achieve their potential by developing skills, finding secure employment and having fulfilling careers is the driving force for the Government’s Employment Strategy, released today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern andEmployment Minister Willie Jackson.

“We need a joined-up approach across education and training, the social welfare system and active labour market strategies to work with people to get them into the right kind of jobs. On all these fronts we have work underway,” says Jacinda Ardern.

The Employment Strategy follows the Government’s recent reform of vocational education and the earlier investment in the Budget for 263 extra frontline staff to support people into meaningful work.

The strategy, overseen by Minister Jackson will:

–       build a skilled workforce by ensuring the education, immigration, welfare systems all pull in the same direction to unlock people’s potential and enable businesses to get the skills they need

–       support industries and regions to thrive by ensuring they are well served by the skills and training system

–       support workplaces to modernise by encouraging them to make the most of New Zealand’s increasingly diverse workforce

–       support workers and businesses to be resilient and adaptable in the face of the changing nature of work by making sure New Zealanders have good foundation skills and participate in lifelong learning.

–       support a more inclusive labour market to better enable people to grow their skills and careers and have decent and stable work.

Willie Jackson says the Employment Strategy will be delivered through a series of six Action Plans – chosen to ensure that those who consistently experience poor labour market outcomes have the support they need to find work.

The Government today released the first of these, the Youth Employment Action Plan which supports young people through programmes such as He Poutama Rangatahi and Mana in Mahi, creating a long term employment pipeline.

“The Youth Employment Action Plan sets out how the Government will put young people onto a stronger pathway to reaching their fullest potential,”  says Jackson.

“We are supporting them to enhance their skills, kick-start their career prospects and earn a good living, as well as provide employers with the skilled, motivated talent they need.

“Supporting people at a young age is proven to make a lifelong difference in their careers and wellbeing and contributes to their identity and sense of purpose,” says Jackson.

The other Action Plans will cover the elderly, Maori, Pacific peoples, refugees and new migrants, and those with disabilities.

More information on the Employment Strategy and Action Plans can be found at


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