© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

New Government centres to tackle rise in unemployment

Asha Abdi
COVID 19 Update

The Government is opening 35 employment centres throughout New Zealand to help those unemployed due to COVID19.

Minister of Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said a big part of keeping people connected was about keeping New Zealand working. 

"Over the last few weeks, the Government has paid $10.4 billion dollars in wage subsidies to keep 1.6 million New Zealanders in work and connected to their employers.''

Sepuloni said the Government needed to continue to be responsive to the evolving situation related to COVID19.

Before New Zealanders went in to alert level four, the Government set up rapid response teams to work in regions immediately affected.

"During level 4 lockdown, these teams continued to place people into work over the phone," Sepuloni said.

The Government would also be launching a "Keep New Zealand Working" employment service initiative for people out of work or at risk of losing their job. 

"Unemployment will rise before it improves," Sepuloni said.

An updated Government employment strategy was launched in August last year.