19 Sep 2016

Pacific youth targeted in employment support programme

8:00 am on 19 September 2016

It's hoped an employment support programme for youth will lift incomes and living standards for New Zealand's Pacific population.

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The government will spend $4.5m on the Pacific Employment Support Services programme. Photo: 123rf

Since its launch in 2010, the Pacific Employment Support Services pilot programme has seen more than 80 percent of its 1400 applicants placed into employment or training.

The New Zealand government this year allocated $4.5 million to extend the programme for another four years.

Government figures show Pacific people are over-represented among the unemployed, low income and lower-skilled workers.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is optimistic that the programme will help change those figures.

"If we can get Pacific people into better training opportunities, high levels of education and achievement, then they get paid higher wages and incomes.

"And that has a natural flow-on effect to those housing outcomes and the health outcomes. So it's definitely a positive win-win situation."